Trump, Trade and Virginia

6 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2016

See all articles by Stuart Malawer

Stuart Malawer

George Mason University (Schar School of Policy & Government)

Date Written: November 27, 2016


The founding of the Virginia Colony in the New World by the Virginia Company reflected the British Empire’s notion that enlightenment would come through trade. By the post-World War II era this notion was unequivocally adopted by U.S. policymakers.

This belief in the linkage between trade and the spread of liberal values has been the cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy for over 75 years. It was the underpinning of the architecture of the United States’ international trade and investment rules-based system that has evolved since the adoption of the Bretton Woods system, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and subsequently, by the World Trade Organization (WTO). It resulted in the historical growth of liberal democracy in the United States and elsewhere globally. Donald Trump was elected, in large part, by those who now felt marginalized by globalization. Globalization and the liberal economic order is now under challenge by him and his trade policy pronouncements.

The challenge now is for the U.S. to put in place immediately a broad range of domestic policies regarding trade adjustment assistance, public and private reinvestment into infrastructure, and global tax reform to recapture the billions of offshore dollars being hoarded by U.S. multinationals.

Both federal and state governments, with a broad outward-looking mindset, need to aggressively engage collectively the global system. This entails having complimentary domestic social and economic policies ensuring a competitive home front.

Blustering away at globalization, walking away from the TPP, withdrawing from NAFTA or the WTO, and from leadership in the global trading system are not good for developing viable U.S. policies for trade, geostrategic relations or promoting state economic development.

Suggested Citation

Malawer, Stuart, Trump, Trade and Virginia (November 27, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Stuart Malawer (Contact Author)

George Mason University (Schar School of Policy & Government) ( email )

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