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Polarization, the Great Recession, and the Trade Politics of America First: Domestic Sources of the Trump Administration's Trade Policy

  • The Journal of Northeast Asia Research
  • Abbr : NEA
  • 2018, 33(1), pp.5-32
  • DOI : 10.18013/jnar.2018.33.1.001
  • Publisher : The Institute for Northeast Asia Research
  • Research Area : Social Science > Political Science > International Politics > International Relations / Cooperation
  • Received : July 15, 2018
  • Accepted : August 5, 2018
  • Published : August 31, 2018

Chansoo Cho 1

1강남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This essay explores the domestic sources of ‘America First’ trade policy pursued by the Trump administration. Two domestic factors are taken into account to improve our understanding of the recent U.S. trade policy. One is the polarization of American politics that has become an enduring feature since the 1980s, while the other is the Great Recession of 2007~2009. Trump as a populist politician has mobilized the social foundation of America First trade politics against the backdrop of ever-increasing polarization and inequality. The current U.S. stance toward international commerce reflects the popular challenge to the ‘neoliberal consensus’ within the Washington political class. The Great Recession has catalyzed the backlash against the long-standing policies in favor of globalization and economic openness pursued by both Democratic and Republican administrations since the 1980s.

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