Clyde Prestowitz

Clyde Prestowitz is the author of Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions. He is also president of the Economic Strategy Institute, a nonprofit research organization in Washington, D.C.

Recent Articles

Can Trump Handle China?

During the campaign, Trump made a lot of promises to balance U.S. trade with China.

(Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik)
(Photo: AP/Andrew Harnik) F inally, the much-anticipated day is upon us. As China’s President Xi Jinping visits President Donald Trump at his winter White House in Mar-a-Lago on Thursday and Friday, we may see some of the true mettle of the new U.S. leader. During the election campaign, he proclaimed that he would create American jobs and raise wages by quickly turning around the massive $380 billion U.S. annual trade deficit with China. He charged that China was manipulating its currency to keep it undervalued versus the dollar, thereby artificially maintaining low prices for Chinese exports to the U.S. market. He said that “on day one” of his new administration, he would formally declare China a currency manipulator and take action domestically and within the International Monetary Fund to stop the manipulation and to achieve fair market currency values. He also said that he would impose tariffs as high as 45 percent on U.S. imports of Chinese goods and services in an effort to halt...

Could America Act Like China?

Trump's trade appointments represent a drastic change from business as usual.

(Photo: AP/Andy Wong)
(Photo: AP/Andy Wong) Workers rest near a Chinese government billboard in Beijing on September 5, 2016. W ith last week’s announcement of Robert Lighthizer his nominee to become the new U.S. trade representative, President-elect Donald Trump has completed the revolution he began when he appointed economist Peter Navarro as chairman of the newly created National Trade Council and Wilbur Ross as secretary of commerce. None of these men come from the long-reigning economics and foreign policy establishment of the United States. They’ve all been in the trenches, and are realists rather than ideologues. For those who’ve long sought a drastically different approach to trade, Lighthizer is probably as close to the perfect candidate as it is possible to get. As a deputy trade representative in the Reagan administration, he was involved in the negotiation of the myriad trade frictions that arose between Japan and the United States in the 1980s. The issues between the United States and Japan at...

Why Losing TPP Won't Hurt the U.S. in Asia

TPP is a big deal, but not for American foreign policy. 

The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images
The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama hold a summit meeting at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. on April 28, 2015. T he failure of the House of Representatives last week to accept the president’s proposals for approving the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal (TPP) he has long been negotiating, has resulted in a cloudburst of baleful predictions of the collapse of American foreign policy and the complete impotency of the rest of the Obama presidency. You would think that while the trade provisions were controversial, there was unanimity on the premise that TPP is a foreign policy imperative. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers likened the vote to rejection by the Congress of President Woodrow Wilson’s proposal for a League of Nations after World War I. Conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks said the vote against the president would help China dominate Asia. Speaking at a Washington think...

The Pacific Pivot

America needs to try something new when it comes to international trade.

(Flickr/James O'Sullivan)
On November 12, 2011, I listened as President Barack Obama told business leaders attending the Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Honolulu that “we’ve turned our attention back to the Asia Pacific region” and announced two vehicles for that return. These were the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement, now under negotiation and to be concluded by the end of this year, and the Pivot to Asia, meaning a redeployment of American priorities and military forces away from Europe and the Middle East to Asia. The president said that Asia will be central to America’s future prosperity and that it was imperative to correct unsustainable trade and financial imbalances while continuing to expand economic ties. This would require that all countries play by the same rules appropriate to the current global economy. The TPP, he said, would be a template for a “21st-century agreement” that would eventually be open to all the countries of the region. He emphasized...

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