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Trade War! Real War! Trade War! Real War!

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USS America's Test F-35 Flight Operations.jpg
F-35B landing on USS America. By Lance Cpl. Dana Beesley – Public Domain.

Some thoughts on the connection between the liberal international trade order and US military dominance…

The connections between trade and innovation are complicated, but generally speaking freer trade tends to generate more technological innovation than autarky, although much depends on the specific legal and structural conditions under which trade is conducted. During the Cold War, the United States derived immense military advantage from the global trade system that it constructed. This trade system tied the world’s most powerful economies to the United States with private and public binds, and also ensured that American producers would find consumers. While the system had drawbacks (exposure to international shocks, limitations on national economic policy) it provided a sounder basis for long-run economic growth than the autarkic policies undertaken by the Soviet Union and its Eastern European subject states.

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