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Incoherent US trade plans may get nastier not clearer

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Subject

US trade policy.

Significance

During his election campaign, Donald Trump slammed decades of US policy and pledged to secure better trade deals, putting 'America First'. Upon taking office, Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but six months on, his trade agenda remains disjointed.

Impacts

  • Trump could use executive powers in a more sweeping fashion if he cannot deliver trade changes via legislation.
  • Washington will expand secondary trade sanctions on firms and people that deal with North Korea, most of which are Chinese.
  • Securing 'big-ticket' export deals will be a means for Trump to deliver manufacturing jobs to his political heartland.
  • US opposition to funding and reforms of international financial institutions could reduce the momentum behind global cooperation.
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