Are Republicans against globalization

protectionism : Donald Trump's lonely fight against globalization

It's a wrong world. "We have to say no to protectionism," said the Chinese head of state and party leader Xi-Jinping at the World Economic Forum in Davos, shortly before Donald Trump took office. “America first,” says the American president, and at the G20 finance ministers' meeting in Baden-Baden, he had his minister, Steven Mnuchin, block a joint commitment against protectionism.

It is an ideological turning point. The country that invented post-war globalization is adopting a protectionist course, while German G20 leader Angela Merkel seeks solidarity with China before her first meeting with the new US president.

Trump's ideas are not the beginning of the end of globalization

The end of globalization is still a long one. The new American protectionism is still primarily an idea in the minds of Trump and advisers like Peter Navarro. As much as Trump loves to present himself as a doer, he, too, cannot break up the web of trade relationships, production chains and international regulations that have grown over decades, and not without great political and economic damage.

As one of his first acts, Trump suspended the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement by decree. It was quick, it was signed but not yet in force. He will not be able to terminate other agreements anytime soon. Political scientist Markus Gastinger recently calculated that the USA has signed 14 free trade agreements with 20 states, with notice periods of at least six months, and rightly asked: With which states would Trump be able to conclude individual agreements as announced, at least those with which the USA is better get away than before? Not with the EU countries (share of US-EU trade in world trade: around 30 percent), since trade is communitized (except perhaps with the renegade British). Trump's plans to tax imports heavily are also far from becoming a reality. They are controversial domestically - but not to be held without a congress.

Germany threatens with China card

Germany would be particularly affected if Trump succeeds in torpedoing world trade. During her visit, Angela Merkel therefore brought three CEOs with her, emphasized the billions invested by Germans in the US and referred to the 810,000 jobs that German companies have created in the US according to the federal government. Otherwise, the German strategy is: stay cool and tease. In the run-up to Merkel's visit, government circles said they would only react to the import tax when facts were on the table. At the same time, Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel call on EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström to strengthen Europe's relations with the emerging countries. If, dear USA, you no longer take part, that means we will build around you.

Trump has made economic nationalism a key message. Europe's threat to Asia will only reinforce it. It is more likely to be stopped by those Republicans in whose constituencies the end of globalization would really hurt.

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