World

Im-Politic: A World Trade Organization Pull-Out Proposal that Falls Sadly Short

I can barely describe how much I wanted to like Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley’s May 6 op-ed piece in The New York Times calling for a U.S. withdrawal from the World Trade Organization (WTO). That’s why I can also barely describe the growing disappointment I felt as I read through it.  At best, it deserves only an “A for effort” grade.

First, let’s give Hawley (considerable) credit where it’s due. As I’ve been arguing since it went into business at the start of 1995, and in fact was predicting during the national debate preceding Congress’ approval of the idea the fall before, the WTO has gravely harmed crucial American economic interests. (This recent post briefy summarizes my views.)

Let’s also give The Times op-ed page credit for running an article that’s even more strongly opposed to the pre-Trump U.S. trade policy status quo than President Trump has been –

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And now for a world government

I have never believed that there is a secret United Nations plot to take over the US. I have never seen black helicopters hovering in the sky above Montana. But, for the first time in my life, I think the formation of some sort of world government is plausible.

A “world government” would involve much more than co-operation between nations. It would be an entity with state-like characteristics, backed by a body of laws. The European Union has already set up a continental government for 27 countries, which could be a model. The EU has a supreme court, a currency, thousands of pages of law, a large civil service and the ability to deploy military force.

So could the European model go global? There are three reasons for thinking that it might.

First, it is increasingly clear that the most difficult issues facing national governments are international in nature: there

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