The Democratic Party is long overdue for a serious, substantive debate over the objectives and tools of trade policy. Making a play for the center on trade would be the outcome that best serves the party and the country.
Based on information that the U.S. public hasn’t seen, the Trump administration has deemed Huawei a national security threat. That may well be the right conclusion, but other governments seem unconvinced, and have resisted.
Instead of entering what many anticipated would be the home stretch of negotiations to end the nearly yearlong trade war, U.S. tariffs on about $200 billion of imports from China are set to increase from 10 percent to 25 percent.
In two short years, President Trump has transformed the United States from the beacon and ballast of the ship of global trade to the gale-force winds bending its masts and shredding its sails. Whether the ship returns to a stable, predictable course or continues to tack wildly, take on water, and possibly sink should become slightly clearer in the year ahead.
In the wake of the recent “trade agreement” between President Trump and EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, we have seen a surfeit of commentary heaping praise on the U.S. president for his strategic trade policy vision and tactical brilliance.
As has been the case every day for the past 16+ months, the U.S. and global economies remain exposed to the whims of an unorthodox president who precariously steers policy from one extreme to the other, keeping us in a perpetual state of uncertainty.