There is much President Trump does not understand about the outside world. High up on the list is the crucial importance of US trade policy in creating and sustaining the American Empire.
The key to the post-World War II US imperium was granting other nations commercial access to the huge, vibrant American domestic market. This, as much as the highly successful Marshall Plan in Europe, was responsible for stabilizing the world economy and extending US geopolitical power across much of the globe.
I vividly recall when war-ravaged Japan produced only junk and cheap toys. A small town in Japan called ‘Usa’ produced fake Zippo cigarette lighters stamped ‘made in USA.’ Five years later, I was amazed to discover the quality and capability of new transistor radios from an electric company later known as ‘Toshiba.’
Japan’s hard work and determination played a key role in rebuilding that war-ravaged nation, half of whose cities and industries had been fire-bombed into ruins.
But industrial Japan would not have risen from the ashes without access to the American market which consumed an ever-larger share of Japan’s high quality exports.
South Korea and then China followed the same growth curve, responding to America’s insatiable demand for lower cost products. In both cases, the boom in exports sparked rising economic activity in domestic industries and commerce.
American Raj: America …
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Today, large parts of the world economy depend on access to the US market, its primary engine of growth. Canada and Mexico are prime examples. Almost 80% of Canada’s exports go to the US. As a result, Washington treats…