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Trade Profile: The U.S. Struggles to Break Its Fetters

Jan 22, 2018 | 08:00 GMT
The Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan.

Since World War II, the United States has underpinned a trade system that has spread to encompass the whole world as it reduces barriers and reciprocity. The country is now staging an uprising that puts the structure of international trade at risk.

(oneinchpunch/Shutterstock)

More a continent than a country, one nation has held pride of place in the global trading system for most of the last century: the United States. Since World War II, the United States has been central to underpinning a system that has spread to encompass the whole world as it reduces trade barriers and reciprocity. This centrality has not only extended to leadership on trade but also to the use of the U.S. dollar in global payments and central bank reserves. Despite its preeminence in the global trading system, the United States periodically has chafed against the bonds that hold it in place. Under the leadership of U.S. President Donald Trump, the country is now staging the latest iteration of these periodic rebellions -- an uprising that puts the whole structure of international trade at risk....

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