Could the July 25 Trump-Juncker Trade Agreement Work?

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August 8, 2018  ––  President Trump and European Commission President Juncker, in the Rose Garden July 25, announced EU-US trade negotiations.  Here are my answers to questions on the negotiations, in the event they actually take place.  Continue reading

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Apology Tour d’horizon

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July 26, 2018 — American presidents are supposed to take America’s side when dealing with other countries.  (“My country, right or wrong.”)  When Barack Obama was (falsely) accused of starting his presidency with an “apology tour” of the Middle East, it was understood that apologizing to foreigners would have been a bad thing, if true.  Last week Donald Trump received a lot of criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for failing to take the side of his own intelligence services and law enforcement agencies when their findings ran counter to what his friend Vladimir Putin solemnly assured him to be the truth.

Even though US presidents are not supposed to apologize for their country, there is nothing that says that professors can’t.  This column is an apology tour.  The tour visits countries in alphabetical order. Continue reading

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Protectionism is Nothing New for Republicans

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June 16, 2018 — Critics of President Trump’s aggressive trade policy have mostly gotten it right.  His tariffs cause economic damage at home – raising the cost of living for American consumers, hurting industry, and taking foreign sales away from farmers and other exporters.   Moreover the threats have been deployed erratically across trading partners and across time in ways that seem calculated to discourage cooperation with the US and rather to isolate the hitherto leader of the free world from even its closest allies.

But one sometimes hears that these tariffs are a complete departure from historical Republican orthodoxy.   This is not quite right. Continue reading

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