In his classic 1986 work, The Rise of the Trading State, Rosecrance argued that trade and interdependence were replacing territory and conquest as sources of wealth and power. Nearly 30 years later, with the rise of China worrying the West, Rosecrance again urges the United States to pursue a grand strategy of trade and economic integration, this time focused on the creation of a massive economic union with Europe. It is no longer enough to be a trading state, Rosecrance asserts. What the old Western industrial powers need now is an open market of sufficient scale and scope to increase their efficiency and stability. A giant customs union would generate additional growth and would allow the West to approach China and other Asian countries from a position of strength. The book lacks a systematic explanation of precisely how high-growth Asian economies threaten the United States and Europe. But its main insight is still compelling: the “new West” needs to be big, unified, and growing.
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