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Trump's International Political Economy: Neocon Neoliberalism Camouflaged with Anti-Globalization


This paper explores the likely contours of Trump’s international economic policy. A key element of Trump’s political success has been his masquerade of being pro-worker, which includes being anti-globalization. However, his true economic interest is the exact opposite. That creates conflict between Trump’s political and economic interests. Understanding the calculus of that conflict is critical for understanding Trump’s international economic policy. Trump will strongly criticize globalization but the bark will be worse than the bite because globalization has increased corporate profits. Trump also expresses neocon unilateralist tendencies that are not a one-off temporary political aberration. Instead, they reflect intrinsic and enduring features of the current US polity. That has profound implications for the international relations order, and is something foreign governments may not yet have digested.

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