America's Two Front Economic Conflict

Author: C. Fred Bergsten
March/April 2001
Foreign Affairs

America now faces the prospect of economic conflicts with both Europe and East Asia. The United States and the European Union have already fired the first shots of retaliatory sanctions over their ever-growing trade disputes. On the other side of the world, meanwhile, Asian countries are creating a bloc of their own that could include preferential trade arrangements and an Asian Monetary Fund. These developments could produce a tripolar world and hamper global economic integration. To avert this outcome, the United States must quell its domestic backlash against globalization and reassert its economic leadership in the world. The new Bush administration should make multilateral trade liberalization a top priority -- or it will face unpleasant economic and political consequences as the U.S. and foreign economies slow.

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