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 –