Talk for Story "Asking the experts on Trump’s ‘dismantling’ American trade policies"

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  1. Rewrite

    ““Free trade” was an ideal that the United States enforced around the world ever since the country became the global power after World War II.” What does this mean, and what is the evidence? Do you mean that the idea of Free Trade is one that the US used its economic power to promote, or that the US promoted its own interests under the banner of free trade? Do you mean that, beyond promoting free trade as an ideal the US actually succeeded in enforcing it as a fact, by economic, political or military power, so that at some point between WWII and now, we had free trade around the world — which is patently not true? Or do you mean that it was enforced but only as an ideal, so that as a result of US force everyone pays lip-service to the ideal although the reality is very different? Or what?

    Perhaps what you mean is something like “Since emerging as the dominant economic power in the period after the Second World War, the United States has generally seen its own interests as lying in a general movement towards Free Trade and has largely promoted it in international forums”.

    1. Rewrite

      Hi Jennifer- The first sentence is generally supported by what the experts said in their responses. Every U.S. administration since World War II has promoted the removal international trade barriers, expanded trade deals and empowered the WTO.

      There are inconsistencies for sure. For example, the US gov has subsidized several private enterprises, albeit to a lesser degree to other developed countries, but still not a free market principle.

      So perhaps the word “enforced” should be replaced with “promoted.”

      You’re also right that the WTO and other free trade institutions are often aligned with the U.S. self-interest. I don’t think this negates my sentence’s validity though.

      I rather like your suggested edit but cannot use it without evidence of intent. We can easily say that the U.S. government promoted free trade ideals. To say that they did so out of pure self-interest would need citation.

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