Globalization Finds Safe Place as U.S. Wages a Trade War 美國掀貿易戰 擋不了全球化
文/Peter S. Goodman
If globalization were ever going to unravel, the beginning would probably feel something like this.
President Donald Trump, the leader of the country that built the world trading system, continues to disrupt international commerce as a weapon wielded in pursuit of national aims.
He has unleashed trade hostilities with China, placed tariffs on steel made by allies like Europe and Japan, and restricted India's access to the American market. He vowed to hit Mexico with tariffs mere months after he agreed to a new version of a deal liberalizing trade across North America.
But globalization has become such an elemental feature of life that it is probably irreversible. The process of making modern goods, from airplanes to medical devices, has become so mind-bendingly complex, involving components drawn from multiple continents, that a few unexpected tariffs will not prompt companies to swiftly close factories in China and Mexico and replace them with plants in Ohio and Indiana.
What does appear to be ending is the post-World War II era in which the United States championed global trade as immunization against future conflict, selling the idea that the free exchange of goods was a pathway toward a more stable world order.
U.S. administrations forged rules governing disputes, enabling countries to trade with diminished fear of capricious political intervention. In ceding this role, Trump has weakened the rules-based trading system while removing a counterweight to China, whose transactional approach to trade places scant value on transparency and human rights.
"One thing is really clear: There has got to be a reset in the world trading system," said Swati Dhingra, an economist at the London School of Economics. "It's all breaking at the seams at this point."
The trade war unleashed by Trump has injected higher costs and confusion into the global economy, forcing businesses to anticipate the next venue for hostilities. U.S. retailers and manufacturers voiced that complaint in testimony to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, ahead of Trump's plans to put tariffs on a further $300 billion worth of Chinese imports.
"This is now the post-American world economy, one in which globalization is much more spotty," said Adam S. Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. "The world is a riskier place, where access to markets is a lot less sure."
In the Trump framing, the United States is best served by the unsentimental exploitation of its position as the world's largest economy. It must brandish threats of limiting access to its market to force other countries to capitulate to its demands.
How Old Should a President Be? With So Many Choices, Democrats Are Sharply Divided選誰迎戰川普？美民主黨 恐因世代出現分歧
文/Lisa Lerer and Denise Lu
As a young adult, Ronnie Werner protested the war in Vietnam, fought for civil rights and supported a 42-year-old Democrat, Robert F. Kennedy, in her first election in 1968. Forty years later, her home served as the local headquarters for then-Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign, as she urged her fellow Democrats to embrace new leadership.
That was then. Now, as Democrats grapple with the possibility that President Donald Trump could win four more years in the White House, Werner feels that betting on the next generation is a risk she can't afford to take.
The political power of generational change, a constant in Democratic politics and in victorious presidential campaigns for much of the past 60 years, is being hotly debated as the party wrestles with how to defeat Trump.
Age has never defined a race so sharply before. The 23 Democrats include one of the youngest presidential candidates in modern history and the oldest one, spanning four generations — from 37-year-old Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to 77-year-old Bernie Sanders, senator from Vermont.
"The age thing is going to be one of the wedges by the time we get to the caucus next year," said Bryce Smith, the 27-year-old Democratic chairman in Dallas County, a fast-growing suburb of Des Moines, Iowa. "It's that question of experience versus new leadership."
Interviews with more than three dozen voters, strategists and officials in recent weeks showed Democrats struggling not only with the question of how old, exactly, was too old but also with whether it was time to turn over the country's most powerful office to a new generation.
Democratic midterm wins ushered in a diverse wave of younger politicians, assisted by record turnout from young voters. Twenty-four Democrats under the age of 40 entered Congress, a fourfold increase from just two years ago. Their victories boosted expectations that youth could be an asset in the presidential race.
Yet, at a time of ascendancy for younger Democrats, some worry there may be political peril in nominating a younger politician to challenge the 72-year-old Trump. It's a notable shift for a party that has traditionally won the White House by embracing the ethos of a new generation in candidates like Obama in 2008, Bill Clinton in 1992 and John F. Kennedy in 1960.