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Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality 2019-05-23 14:02:37

Summary:
Martin Wolf: The US-China Conflict Challenges The World: "Historic allies of the US... would stand beside it..... Yet these are not normal circumstances. Under Donald Trump, the US has become a rogue superpower, hostile, among many other things, to the fundamental norms of a trading system based on multilateral agreement and binding rules.... We are also seeing a big shift in conservative thinking.... The US no longer sees why it should be a 'responsible stakeholder'.... Some might conclude that the high costs mean that the conflict cannot be sustained, particularly if stock markets are disrupted. An alternative and more plausible outcome is that Mr Trump and China’s Xi Jinping are 'strongmen' leaders who cannot be seen to yield... ...It should be possible to sustain liberal

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Martin Wolf: The US-China Conflict Challenges The World: "Historic allies of the US... would stand beside it..... Yet these are not normal circumstances. Under Donald Trump, the US has become a rogue superpower, hostile, among many other things, to the fundamental norms of a trading system based on multilateral agreement and binding rules.... We are also seeing a big shift in conservative thinking.... The US no longer sees why it should be a 'responsible stakeholder'.... Some might conclude that the high costs mean that the conflict cannot be sustained, particularly if stock markets are disrupted. An alternative and more plausible outcome is that Mr Trump and China’s Xi Jinping are 'strongmen' leaders who cannot be seen to yield...

...It should be possible to sustain liberal trade, at the expense of the US and China. Anne Krueger, former first deputy managing director of the IMF, notes in a column that, by its own foolish decision to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the US suffers from WTO legal discrimination against its exports to members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which replaced TPP. The EU also has free trade agreements with Canada and Japan. This is good. But they can go further. Countries that see the benefits of a strong trading order should turn such FTAs into a “global FTA of the willing”.... Others can step in. They are, in aggregate, huge players. They should dare to act as such.


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Bradford DeLong
J. Bradford DeLong is Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was Deputy Assistant US Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration, where he was heavily involved in budget and trade negotiations. His role in designing the bailout of Mexico during the 1994 peso crisis placed him at the forefront of Latin America’s transformation into a region of open economies, and cemented his stature as a leading voice in economic-policy debates.

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