Even if it was often more deliberate thinking than ambiguous reality, it was used to show that American economic freedom was a (classical) liberal model that many other world governments hoped to imitate or at least excuse not to follow. Now, it seems, the situation is clearer: America is becoming a degenerate model that European politicians and bureaucrats are consciously seeking to steal. At least in the case of international trade.
It must be acknowledged that the US government is not at the forefront of protectionism in the “free world”. Franklin D. from the Civil War. Roosevelt (and his “Hillbilly Free Businessman” Secretary of State Cordell Hall, as Illinois Senator Paul Douglas later described), had some of America’s highest tariffs in the developed world. More generally, American trade policy has been seen between controlled free trade and protectionist control. Check out Douglas Irwin’s wonderful book Conflict over trade And my review Regulations-For example:
In 1976, according to some calculations, the U.S. market was more protected by tariff barriers than the European Economic Community and Japan, although exports to the U.S. were less subsidized.
In the same review, I wrote:
But surprisingly, at least for an amateur student of American history, the U.S. government has had almost unchallenged protectionist tendencies from its inception to the present day, and the humility and prudence of its defenders when free trade was protected. In the early 1830s, Sen Henry Clay, the inventor of the “American” [protectionist] The system, “says that” must be free, “trade” must be fair, equal and reciprocal. The so-called “fair trade” is not a recent invention. Understandably, the fact that tariffs are a tax on domestic consumers did not make much sense.
So what’s going on now? Inspired by the French government, the European Union government is developing a set of protectionist legal instruments presented in response to and in response to the restrictive trade measures adopted by the administrations of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden. The continuity between the two last presidents, who would claim to be so different, says something about the dire state of American politics.
A story in Financial times Provides examples (Andy Bounds, “France finds its way, thanks to Brexit,” June 6, 2022). We learn new protectionist activism in France and in the EU
This is partly a response to Donald Trump’s US administration, which has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum on the basis of national security.
Even the Defense Production Act (DPA), a remnant of the Korean War that was called for by Trump at the beginning of the Kovid epidemic and which Biden also used, objects of violence:
Last year, Brussels was finally persuaded to tighten its grip, when US President Joe Biden called for the Defense Production Act to restrict the export of vaccine components in the Covid-19 epidemic. EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton has threatened to cut off vaccine supplies to the United States unless it liftes its embargo.
He said he needed a tool similar to his DPA – recently used to increase production of baby formula and airlift supplies from Europe.
A simulated DPA would allow the EU to restrict exports when deemed appropriate – meaning it would, of course, prevent others from importing and stop efficient distribution of supplies in times of emergency:
The French commissioner’s team is now working on a single market emergency device, which would allow export bans on five or six categories of goods, such as raw materials, in an emergency.