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Heritage: Trump's Nat Sec Strategy Carries 'Red Flags' on Trade

Heritage: Trump's Nat Sec Strategy Carries 'Red Flags' on Trade
President Donald Trump (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Monday, 18 December 2017 07:15 PM

President Donald Trump's new National Security Strategy raises "red flags" on international trade that could lead to "an unprecedented economic nationalism" that would damage the U.S. economy, according to the Heritage Foundation.

The Daily Signal analysis by Walter Lohman, director of the foundation's Asian Studies Center, shows a "significant and positive break" in the strategy on a number of political and security issues, but on international trade "raises some red flags."

“The references to trade could simply indicate a very robust enforcement regime – coupled with an effort to reach bilateral free-trade agreements," he wrote. "Or they could presage an unprecedented economic nationalism that would do serious damage to the American economy."

In particular, Lehman argued the document's use of the term "fair trade" could mask "protectionism and industrial policy," and wrote "trade deficits are not the only way to measure economic relationships."

"[A]t the end of the day, the broader account of our economic relationships balance out as foreigners invest in the United States," he wrote, adding, foreign investment in the United States "is a good thing."

Lohman praised the prioritization of new bilateral trade agreements, "but assuming by bi-lateral agreements, the administration means 'free-trade agreements,' it will have to take a broader view of their value if it is to find any takers."

And he questioned whether the new strategy was picking "winners and losers among participants in the American economy."

"Export of goods is an important part of the American economy, but so are services, imports, and foreign investment," he wrote. "It is not the role of government to choose the balance among these, but the market's role."

Lohman also applauded the strategy's drawing "a bright new line on China," but argued "we also must take a new look at the way China's state-owned companies interact with free markets."

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The new National Security Strategy could lead to "an unprecedented economic nationalism," which would damage the U.S. economy, per the Heritage Foundation.
national security, strategy, heritage foundation, nationalism
Monday, 18 December 2017 07:15 PM
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