Trump and the Weaponization of International Trade

Jack Thompson, Center for Security Studies (CSS) on There is a degree of truth in Trump’s critique of globalization. Economists debate the scale of the problem, but major trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the impact on the US manufacturing sector of China’s integration into the international economic system – the so-called China Shock – have had a significant impact on key sections of the economy. The United States probably experienced overall net growth because of trade liberalization – millions benefited from these changes, and a majority of voters view globalization in mostly positive terms – but many Americans saw their lives change for the worse. The consequences for these people have been stark: they have endured falling income levels or long-term unemployment, decreased life expectancies, and hometowns that have, in some cases literally, crumbled around them.


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