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Scott Lincicome @scottlincicome
, 7 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Great @wsj weekend essay on the parallels bt the US-Japan trade conflict in the 80s and US-China today. Key themes: inflated trade risks, unintended consequences, & unfazed long-term fundamentals.…
A couple additions:
1) Discrete US efforts to manage bilateral trade in autos, motorcycles, semiconductors, etc were costly failures (see:…)
2) Many of the same ppl who made dire predictions of Japanese global supremacy & demanded US protectionism/industrial policy in response are leading the China charge today, incl Trump & USTR Lighthizer
3) There's a fundamental incoherence in these trade hawks' approach: the same policies they oppose at home bc of long-term costs, short-term distortions/corruption, & unintended consequences are guaranteed-world-beaters (necessitating US protectionism) when pursued abroad
4) There's also an implicit lack of confidence in the enduring strength of the US economy, US workers/companies/innovators/etc, & the US system of governance - again necessitating US protectionism & industrial policy (often w/out actual factual/economic support).
5) Finally, there's often an ignorance (willful or otherwise) of the many trade tools the US already uses - & uses well! - to encourage trade/econ reforms abroad. Sometimes, these hawks propose things that already exist (tho often they want... you guessed it, more protectionism)
China presents very real trade & geopolitical issues for the US & the world. But pardon me if I'm skeptical that these Japan-fearing, protectionism-loving, law/history/economics-ignoring folks have the answers.
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