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Trump(y) Protectionism

Trump(y) Protectionism
Highlights

The free market evangelists pooh-poohed those who called for protection of domestic economy from the marauding foreign capital, goods, services and culture. But, Trump today unabashedly advocates a trade regime that defends American interests at any cost. 

The sole super power that taught the world crazy lessons in globalisation is now brazenly protectionist under Donald Trump.

The free market evangelists pooh-poohed those who called for protection of domestic economy from the marauding foreign capital, goods, services and culture. But, Trump today unabashedly advocates a trade regime that defends American interests at any cost.

His trade policy includes protection against import competition, attack on global relocation and outsourcing by US firms, restricting immigration to the land of opportunities etc.

His supporters call him a nationalist. But, a ruthless businessman who blatantly refused to show any concern for his employees, clients, and someone who has scant regard for corporate governance can never be a true nationalist.

He is just a politician who is aggressively and in fact successfully marketing himself as a messiah of White American working millions.

But, this populism is inflicting an irreparable damage on global trading system. Bush invaded the Middle East in the name of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs).

Now, Trump is talking about Weapons of Job Destruction while referring to American companies outsourcing jobs.

Trump is attacking American businesses that prefer to locate production facilities abroad to cater to US markets. The companies that already received threats from US administration include General Motors, Ford, Boeing, Apple, etc.

His onslaught continues on trade treaties like North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). These actions will hurt US financial and corporate oligarchy.

But he promises to compensate them with deep tax cuts. It’s obnoxious that the US, which imposed discriminatory global trade treaties like GATT, is now tearing apart the international trade agreements.

The protectionism of Trump is not without costs for the emerging economies. For instance, Ford Motors has already dropped its Mexican plans.

As one-third of Mexico’s exports to the United Sates are auto parts, such actions would hurt the Mexican economy in a big way.

The developing economies like India have been giving many concessions to American companies. The time has come for the Third World to unite to resist this protectionism that denies them access to one of the world’s largest markets.

China has already threatened to retaliate. But, countries like Mexico do not have economic muscle to do so.

Trump’s anti-immigration measures like visa restrictions would significantly hurt Indian interests. His Islam phobia would turn the world a much more dangerous place to live in as such actions would be fodder for Jihadi backlash.

Trump’s actions include a preposterous proposal to build a wall along the Mexican border. Trump demands that Mexico pay for it, indicating a hegemonistic onslaught.

India cannot be a passive spectator to this unfolding world order under Trump dispensation. Modi regime should evolve an action plan to protect country’s economic and business interests.

As the US shores see greater protectionism, India should hunt for alternative markets and partnerships.

India should be an active player in Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which comprises ASEAN nations, besides Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. India should also further revitalise its role in BRICS, SCO etc., to herald a new world order.

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