Abstract

Abstract:

Since the end of World War II, the United States has played a leading role in shaping the global economic system. While US influence has waned with the reconstruction of Europe and the rise of China, it has remained the leading power in the international system. The election of Donald Trump, however, represents a significant shift in US trade policy. In its first days the Trump administration withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and has since taken specific steps to renegotiate trade agreements and protect US industries. Politicizing the importance to reduce bilateral US trade deficits and to bring manufacturing jobs back home, the Trump administration has also utilized trade remedies in addition to the seldom-used safeguards to advance its "America First" economic agenda. Although trade remedy actions—the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duty based on the US Trade Act of 1974—have been critical instruments for US trade, prioritizing trade deficit reduction in US trade policy has the potential to erode the underlying international system and exacerbate rather than resolve the tensions that have spurred nationalistic economic movements. Against this backdrop, in this article we explore the implications of an abrogation of US global economic leadership for the international trading system and US influence more broadly. We also consider the implications for East Asia and the global economy as a whole as China, the European Union, and Japan take on larger leadership roles within the global trading system.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2288-2871
Print ISSN
0258-9184
Pages
pp. 1-34
Launched on MUSE
2019-02-07
Open Access
No
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