The U.S. has been really the world leader, the standard-bearer, if you will, for international trade. Among large developed nations, we've set the tone, championed the agreements, pushed for more international commerce.
I often marvel at how a mere 4% of the world's population (Americans) can command the world's largest economy. An economy twice the size of number two (which houses 20% of the world's population, China). Policymakers (some) rail at China's protectionist policies -- their myriad subsidies and tariffs. Today, Washington threatens to turn what was once clicheic protectionist rhetoric into cold hard reality.
But wait a minute, I say. Are we really going to act like China? Haven't we proven that the workers of the country more favorable to trade far and away flourish when compared to those who who toil in the country less favorable? Could it be that it's our willingness to pull from and supply to other markets that largely explains the miracle that a fifth the number of people can produce twice the economy and live famously better lives? If we begin acting like China, won't we run the risk of living like China?
From Bloomberg Politics:
With the stroke of a pen, President Donald Trump abruptly ended the decades-old U.S. tilt toward free trade by acting to withdraw from an Asia-Pacific accord that had been promoted by companies including Nike Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. as well as family farmers and ranchers.