For decades, agreement existed (commonly called the Washington Consensus) about the long-term, wide-spread benefits of a global system of free trade. This, in part, emerged from the end of the Cold War, and was built on US military hegemony.
We saw open markets as helpful to growing our domestic economy, as well as key to fixing corrupt or war-ravaged economies. Institutions like the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and others formed the mechanisms of this system. For many years no U.S. President questioned it, until Donald Trump came along.
President Trump’s criticism of trade deficits, demonizing of traditional trading partners, threats and use of tariffs, and cancellation of multilateral trade agreements all throw the Washington Consensus into chaos. What does this mean for global free trade, the American economy, and Wisconsin companies like Harley-Davidson?
Milwaukee-based trade attorney Ngosong Fonkem examines the ongoing trade debate, highlighting why Wisconsinites should pay close attention to these developments.