America Unbound: The New New World Order in Trade?
Published under the title "How a Hyperpower Handles Trade: The Implications of Hyperpower Tactics Applied in a Multipolar Trading System", Centre for International Governance Innovation (2018)
8 Pages Posted: 4 Jul 2018
Date Written: June 4, 2018
In the short space of half a century, the United States passed from being one of a number of Great Powers to one of two Super Powers to the sole Hyper Power. As its position in the world changed, so too did its behaviour – at least in the political realm. A similar transition can arguably be perceived in US international economic policy as well – which is consistent with the subordinate role that international economic policy has played relative to foreign policy in the United States. US trade policy under the Trump Administration is in line with this arc and is thus not evidence of new behaviour; rather it is the expression in trade policy of US Hyper Power behaviour that has long been practiced in the foreign policy realm. This note sketches out this thesis and takes up the question of what such a behavioural shift of the United States in trade implies strategically and tactically and whether it is is sustainable, given the differences in US economic vs. military assets and the differences in the nature of trade vs. geopolitics. It also considers what the response of other nations might be.
Keywords: United States, multilateralism, trade wars, geopolitics, realpolitik
JEL Classification: F13, F52, F55
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation