United States and the Trade Policy- A Closer Look
Attitudes towards international trade are changing. Economies who’ve been more open are contemplating pursuing inward economic policies. Where does the United States stand? Is this the start of an end to globalization? How would the U.S. react? Let’s decipher that. There’s a general rhetoric in the U.S. that the international trade deals would cost the country enough jobs. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) seems to be under the scanner as of late. So, is an economy devoid of international trade be the way to go in such a scenario? How is the U.S. going to view that? A closer look into it would surely suffice.
It isn’t just the NAFTA that has been in the news recently. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Nominee for the Presidential Election, has often pointed her obvious distaste for the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). This means that irrespective of whoever gets into the White House early next year, the fate of international trade has been, more or less, decided. President Obama’s eagerness to go-ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership can be stalled once he leaves the office. Ironically, both the Democrats and Republicans used to vouch for free trade in the past. Although, they again maintain almost similar positions now, with diametrically opposed viewpoints.
Where did it all Go Wrong?
The support for the free trade has become slimmer since the financial crisis of 2008 that nearly took the world economies to their knees. Slow paced and stagnant economies have been the result thus far. The ‘fear factor’ is pretty high. The realist way of engaging in international trade seems to have taken the centre-stage. The manufacturing sector in the U.S. has been hit the most. The loss in jobs has mostly been due to enhanced automation, yet the trade policies being pursued are severely criticized.
Keeping aside international trade, the world has, in every regard, become so globalized that it would be extremely difficult to go back to the old ways of doing business. It is important that the world economy is treated as a ‘whole’, and not as part of the entire whole. For the U.S., it is important to recognize the fact that the international exports are declining, which can significantly impact many of the countries. An economic downshift in one economy affects other parts of the world as well. Consider how the Chinese economic slowdown has affected the world economies. Therefore, it’s time to grow in unison.
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