If you want to see a visual representation of how China is decimating the United States in regard to trade, the following graphics should suffice:
This article is a follow-up to my prior article that showed % of global trade over time. That prior article shows a similar trend of China decimating the United States in trade.
“Free” trade has not worked out well for us. But opportunistic, nationalist trade has worked out excellently for the Chinese. China uses free trade when it is advantageous for them, then they turn around and use protectionist strategies when that is more expedient. Through this strategy, they are now becoming a dominant economic force.
Which shouldn’t be surprising to most nationalists. But sadly, since many come from a libertarian background, it can still be a shock. We’ve always been taught that the freer the market, the higher the rewards. But that is certainly not the case happening here with our comparative disadvantage amid specialization.
Trade is far more important than most people realize. Not only is it correlated to empire stability, but it is also a key metric by which modern wars are being fought, which is in the economic realm.
China is only a “threat” to us because we have allowed them to take over manufacturing goods for the entirety of the world. We gave that up because of the goal of regional specialization. But we’re starting to witness that those economic experts weren’t exactly right, and that free trade isn’t really free after all. It has costs like anything else, it’s just that those costs are delayed and not as easy to quantify. Loss of most of our manufacturing and losing our dominance with worldwide trading partners is not as easy to compare to having to spend five cents more for a pencil.
The future does not look great for the United States. Our time as the worldwide economic empire is rapidly coming to a close. With it, there will be a new international struggle for who gets to take that position.
And trade will play a huge part in who is inevitably crowned as the victor. Just like how it played a massive part in how we got to this position post-World Wars.
We may have forgotten that lesson, but other nations sure haven’t.
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