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A trade war with China poses a serious threat to the US itself, which is bound to suffer severe losses due to trade diversion; and broader damage, as tit-for-tat tariffs reduce overall exports, undermine total global trade, and world economic growth.
Free-market orthodoxy has failed. It’s time to consider our public interest. Europeans, Canadians and Mexicans buy more American goods and services than anyone else in the world. So why would the Trump administration be willing to start trade wars?
It was the left who diagnosed the ills of globalization. So why is the right eating our lunch? Today global capitalism is in a period of long-term stagnation following the global financial crisis. The newer protests represent a far broader disenchantment with capitalism than the protests of the 2000s. The building blocks of an alternative economic model are there - sustainable development, de-growth, and de-globalization.
But now, in an act of political judo, Trump is trying to use the same anti-establishment, pro-American rhetoric from his campaign to craft a neoliberal NAFTA renegotiation that will include everything demanded in the recently scuttled TPP—and more. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, as well as others in Trump’s administration, have been surprisingly straightforward about these intentions.
Although the people of El Salvador won a victory when a ruling denied a company compensation for a mine that popular opposition preventing a mine from operating on their land, they should never had to go through this seven-year legal battle in the first place. Such “investor rights” are the most extreme example of excessive power granted to corporations through trade agreements and are the reason the TPP must be defeated.