The Year of Living Dangerously
Was 2014 a Watershed?
Business in a Changing World
Stewarding the Future
The Return of Geopolitics
The Revenge of the Revisionist Powers
The Illusion of Geopolitics
The Enduring Power of the Liberal Order
How to Respond to a Disordered World
What the Kremlin Is Thinking
Putin’s Vision for Eurasia
Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault
The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin
Who Started the Ukraine Crisis?
A Broken Promise?
What the West Really Told Moscow About NATO Expansion
Why the Kremlin Is Betting on Escalation and Isolation
China's Imperial President
Xi Jinping Tightens His Grip
Keep Hope Alive
How to Prevent U.S.-Chinese Relations From Blowing Up
Asia for the Asians
Why Chinese-Russian Friendship Is Here To Stay
A Meeting of the Minds
Did Japan and China Just Press Reset?
The End of Realist Politics in the Middle East
The Middle East's Durable Map
Rumors of Sykes-Picot's Death are Greatly Exaggerated
Staying Out of Syria
Why the United States Shouldn't Enter the Civil War—But Why It Might Anyway
The Hollow Coalition
Washington's Timid European Allies
This is What Détente Looks Like
The United States and Iran Join Forces Against ISIS
Measuring the Threat from Returning Jihadists
Welcome to the Revolution
Why Shale Is the Next Shale
New World Order
Labor, Capital, and Ideas in the Power Law Economy
The Strategic Logic of Trade
New Rules of the Road for the Global Market
For much of the twentieth century, leaders and policymakers around the world viewed the strategic importance of trade, and of international economic policy more generally, largely through the lens of military strength. They believed that the role of a strong economy was to act as an enabler, supporting a strong military, which they saw as the best way to project power and influence. But in recent decades, leaders have come to see the economic clout that trade produces as more than merely a purse for military prowess: they now understand prosperity to be a principal means by which countries measure and exercise power.
The strategic importance of trade is not new, but it has grown in recent years and strongly reinforces the economic case for expanding trade. Over 40 years ago, the economist Thomas Schelling observed, “Broadly defined to include investment, shipping, tourism, and the management of enterprises, trade is what most of international relations are about. For that reason trade policy is national security policy.” In a world where markets can have as much influence as militaries, any tension between the United States’ national security priorities and its economic goals is more apparent than real. Still, in considering new trade agreements, Washington must first and foremost evaluate their economic merits. Trade deals must promote U.S. economic growth, support jobs, and strengthen the middle class.
Trade’s contribution to the U.S. economy has never been more significant than it is today. Trade supports higher-paying jobs, spurs economic growth, and enhances the competitiveness of the U.S. economy. Last year, the United States exported a record $2.3 trillion in goods and services, which in turn supported around 11.3 million American jobs. Over the last five years, the increase in U.S. exports has accounted for nearly a third of total U.S. economic growth and, during the past four years, has supported 1.6 million additional jobs. Better yet, those jobs typically pay somewhere between 13 and 18 percent more than jobs unrelated to exports.
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