Trade Wars and Tariffs: U.S. Economic Policy in a Global Economy

Hinckley Institute Radio Hour – This week on the program, we air a forum on trade wars, tariffs and U.S. economic policy in the global market. Free and unfettered trade has been a lasting cornerstone of U.S. policy since WWII, with the U.S. making itself increasingly interconnected with global trade and supply chains. However, the free trade status quo has garnered a long list of both domestic and foreign critics, including President Donald Trump and Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, Peter Navarro. Central to the economic policy adopted by the White House has been the use of tariffs, reduction of trade deficits and rejection of multilateral trade deals like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

These challenges to mainstream economic thought have been especially visible in the ongoing U.S. trade war with China, the second-largest economy in the world. The reciprocal escalation of tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods between the U.S. and China has created ripples in the U.S. and global economies and caused uncertainty to rise in agricultural, manufacturing and investment markets. Within the last week, the announcement of “phase one” of a U.S.-China trade deal saw President Trump defer October 15th tariff hikes in exchange for China’s promise to purchase an additional $10 billion in agricultural products. While the announcement of the potential deal’s phase one was met with a flurry of stock market activity, the details and success of phases two and three are still open questions.

So on today’s show, we present a recent conversation about the present and future of U.S. trade. Discussing the issues of a changing U.S. economic policy, trade wars and tariffs are Cole Capener, Independent Director of BMW-Brilliance Automotive Inc. based in Shenyang, China; Miles Hansen, President and CEO of the World Trade Center Utah; and Rudi Von Arnim, Associate Professor in the Economics Department at the University of Utah. Moderating the discussion is Natalie Gochnour, Director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

This forum was recorded on September 30, 2019. 

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