Not at all far away and in real time, President Trump’s trade wars continue apace.
A renegotiated treaty of commerce with Mexico and Canada are stalled in the Congress. China is waiting President Trump out. He is gambling that they will cry “ouch” before he does. But he is facing re-election and Xi Jinping is not. Furthermore, Xi commands a liquidity making machine which can turn out as much money as needed to support domestic economic activity in China.
Trade wars violate the norms of free market capitalism. They favor some over others and permit rent extractions. But free markets favor a “race to the bottom” by privileging lower cost producers.
In the current edition of Foreign Affairs, Dani Rodrik argues for protectionism to shield a nation from competition with countries which have lower wages and weaker social safety nets and less protection for their natural environments. That implies an unnecessary transfer of wealth from domestic consumers to domestic owners and workers.
Has globalization really gone too far? Is China’s self-referential mercantilism acceptable or abnormal? Is China playing by the rules of high-minded globalism, seeking prosperity fairly for all? If not, what can we do about it?
What about the trade consequences of a hard Brexit? If the English want to act from prideful spite, should anyone care?
Please join us for a discussion about trade wars at 9:00 am on Monday, September 23rd at the University Club of St. Paul.
Registration and a light breakfast will begin at 8:30 am and the event at 9:00 am.
To make registration easier and more convenient, we’ve decided to use Eventbrite going forward. To register, please click here. Both members and non-members can register there.
The University Club is located at 420 Summit Ave in St. Paul.
Parking will be available along Summit Ave.
The event will conclude at 11:00 am.