America sinks further into protectionism, imposing costs on taxpayers and foreigners.
President Biden is set to sign an order that will revise the definition of American-made products as he seeks to boost government procurement of U.S. goods.
Inability to understand the benefits if trade was a blind spot with Trump and it is even more so with the Democrats. Trump was correct to attempt to get more balanced trade treaties with countries that got free access to the US market but restricted their own access. That’s something that Australian agricultrural exports have suffered from for 60 years (though for much of that period we had tariffs of 80 per cent plus on cars and clothing).
He was also correct to draw attention to the patent theft that was prevalent by China. And in seeking to depose the Paris Accord, he demonstrated the benefits (at least in those states that avoided Eurocentric climate policies) of less energy regulation, benefits that would eventually have caused the entire climate con to collapse. But too much of his policy was simply seeking to force US firms to source product in-country and to gain access for American produce at the expense of that of other countries.
We will see far more of this with the Dems – trade protectionism was just about the only bipartisan area of government policy in the golden years of Trump. And, as I suggested in previous postings, we will see the new administration using trade policy to try to impose its climate policy with its attack on coal and oil.
We are now facing a darker era of international politics than we have seen since the 1930s