The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

Cool . . . again !

11/24/2020

Shortly after President Trump became President, I recalled Barbara Mandrell’s 1981 classic “I was country when country wasn’t cool’.

One of my degrees was in World Trade, where I was deeply steeped in the economic Principal of Comparative Advantage, which provides a logical, coherent basis for bilateral international trade and, by extension, multilateral trade.  I had been a big supporter of NAFTA and other multilateral trade agreements.  I always thought of myself as an “internationalist.”

Then, President Trump came along and labelled us as “globalists” instead.  Apparently, globalists are only slightly less obnoxious than socialists??  Who knew?  Those of us who thought international trade would raise the living standards of all people were apparently all wrong . . . and definitely not COOL.

Many of us could then sing “I was a globalist when globalism wasn’t cool.”

Former Secretary of Defense “Mad Dog” Mattis has just suggested that President-Elect Biden end the Trump trade policy of “America First”.  Even though Biden is also a globalist, I don’t expect U.S. trade policy will change quickly.  While trade relations with Europe will normalize relatively quickly, relations with China will remain in the deep freeze, and that’s okay.  We should not have a unilateral relationship with China but a multilateral one instead.  This also strengthens the dollar as a reserve currency and weakens the yuan, which is good for America.

It’s good to be cool again!

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