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Can Global Rules Prevent National Self-Harm?

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11.06.2019

CAMBRIDGE – US President Donald Trump has used national security as a justification for his tariffs on steel imports, his threatened tariff hikes on autos, and the tariffs he recently vowed to impose on Mexican imports. “If you don’t have steel, you don’t have a country,” he declared (to cite just one example). While Trump’s national-security claim seems absurd on the face of it, it raises difficult questions for the word trade regime and global economic governance more broadly.

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    The critical challenge of global governance is determining the dividing line between policy domains in which nation-states are free to do as they please and those that are regulated by international agreement. In a world economy that has become increasingly interdependent, pretty much everything that one country does spills over to others.

    But such spillovers are not by themselves a........

    © Project Syndicate