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It’s time to protect the liberal international order

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Since the inauguration of the Trump administration, the United States appears to have abdicated from a role it has fulfilled since the end of World War II — namely, that of defender of the liberal international order. For example:

The U.S. is forcing Mexico and Canada to renegotiate the North America Free Trade Agreement to the detriment of the pact.

The administration has expressly stated that the U.S. will never again return to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The U.S. has opposed the inclusion of words vowing opposition to protectionism in Group of Seven and Group of 20 statements.

The administration favors a bilateral approach to trade negotiations and no longer accepts multilateral trade talks.

The Trump administration has deliberately refused to confirm to European allies that it will observe its mutual defense obligations.

Not one to mince words, U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy adviser Steve Bannon has said that “the globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia.” In the Trump administration, the only way to attack a political enemy is to spread rumors that he or she is a “globalist.” A friend of mine, now a political appointee to an important White House post, is one of those exposed to such attacks.

The economic landslide that is “gutting the working class” will likely continue over the long term. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans appear to be preparing a fundamental response to address the problem.

Moves that significantly influence this landslide — namely China’s export........

© The Japan Times