Let’s talk about trade

I have an article in the latest issue of The American Interest on American attitudes about international trade. It’s called “Trade Talk.” As the opening suggests, I’m not optimistic: American perceptions about international trade have changed dramatically in the past two decades. Presidents can no longer craft positions on international trade issuesforeign economic policy in ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School at Tufts University and the author of The Ideas Industry.

I have an article in the latest issue of The American Interest on American attitudes about international trade. It's called "Trade Talk." As the opening suggests, I'm not optimistic: American perceptions about international trade have changed dramatically in the past two decades. Presidents can no longer craft positions on international trade issuesforeign economic policy in a vacuum. Trade now intersects with other highly politicized issues, ranging from the war on terror to environmental protection to bilateral relations with China. Old issues such as the trade deficit and new issues such as offshore outsourcing have made a liberal trade policy one of the most difficult political sells inside the Beltway. Indeed, shifts in domestic attitudes have created the least hospitable environment for trade liberalization in recent memory. Unfortunately, this inhospitable environment has arisen at a time when trade is more vital to the U.S. economy than ever. The challenge for this President and for those who succeed him will be to reinvigorate U.S. trade policies despite the current public mood. In short, it is the challenge to lead. Alas, the rest of it is behind a subscription firewall. But go subscribe -- or buy this issue from anewsstand -- and then check it out.

I have an article in the latest issue of The American Interest on American attitudes about international trade. It’s called “Trade Talk.” As the opening suggests, I’m not optimistic:

American perceptions about international trade have changed dramatically in the past two decades. Presidents can no longer craft positions on international trade issuesforeign economic policy in a vacuum. Trade now intersects with other highly politicized issues, ranging from the war on terror to environmental protection to bilateral relations with China. Old issues such as the trade deficit and new issues such as offshore outsourcing have made a liberal trade policy one of the most difficult political sells inside the Beltway. Indeed, shifts in domestic attitudes have created the least hospitable environment for trade liberalization in recent memory. Unfortunately, this inhospitable environment has arisen at a time when trade is more vital to the U.S. economy than ever. The challenge for this President and for those who succeed him will be to reinvigorate U.S. trade policies despite the current public mood. In short, it is the challenge to lead.

Alas, the rest of it is behind a subscription firewall. But go subscribe — or buy this issue from anewsstand — and then check it out.

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School at Tufts University and the author of The Ideas Industry. Twitter: @dandrezner

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