25 March 2020   2 comments

COVID-19 raises all sorts of questions about world politics. It is a disease that respects no national borders and is in many respects similar to the threats to global stability posed by climate change. In particular, the virus creates a backlash against the process of globalization which mirrors the populist challenge to globalization which has rattled world politics since the Great Recession of 2008. US President Trump made this abundantly clear in his remarks to the press on 24 March:

“We should never be reliant on a foreign country for the means of our own survival.  I think we’ve learned a lot.  We’ve learned a lot.  This crisis has underscored just how critical it is to have strong borders and a robust manufacturing sector.

“For three years, we’ve embarked on a great national project to secure our immigration system and bring back our manufacturing jobs.  We brought back many jobs — records numbers — record numbers of jobs.

“And this really shows — this experience shows how important borders are.  Without borders, you don’t have a nation.

“Our goal for the future must be to have American medicine for American patients, American supplies for American hospitals, and American equipment for our great American heroes.

“Now, both parties must unite to ensure the United States is truly an independent nation in every sense of the word.  Energy independence — we’ve established that.  That’s something incredible that we have established.  We’re energy independent, manufacturing independence, economic independence, and territorial independence enforced by strong, sovereign borders.

“America will never be a supplicant nation.  We will be a proud, prosperous, independent, and self-reliant nation.  We will embrace commerce with all, but we will be dependent on none.”

This view is profoundly myopic. It may be the case that Mr. Trump does not want to be dependent on resources coming into the US. But the perspective ignores the fact that much of American prosperity rests upon other states buying US resources such as agriculture, airplanes, and high technology. The US would be a significantly poorer country in the absence of a globalized economy. The more productive approach to globalization is to cushion the harmful aspects of the process by investing in an infrastructure that supports those who suffer and guide them into more productive employment.

Posted March 25, 2020 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “25 March 2020

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  1. The “Trump Doctrine” the President states here exposes his lack of knowledge of history, economics and geopolitics. From the beginning of the Republic, the US has thrived on trade within and without its borders. He is trying to lead our country down a xenophobic garden path.


    Mary K. O’Brien

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