Editor: Globalism v. Nationalism—although the media seems to be fixated on unearthing the variables associated with these 21st century terms I would suggest there is one really big term being ignored.
When is the last time you heard anyone talk about bilateralism? When is the last time you heard or read of the strategic significance of the U.S. being non-multilingual? Why do politicians talk about the value of a strong dollar while knowing that only through a continuing weakening dollar can we pay back our nearly $20 trillion debt and continue to borrow to cover the over $90 trillion of future commitments?
These are pretty big challenges for a short article to cover but I will at least try.
Shortly after World War II there was a historic meeting at Bretton Woods where the idea of connecting the currencies of Europe so fluctuations could be muted was considered. It didn’t work but the idea or preference for not having major fluctuations in currency values never went away (see Brexit issues, China peg to the dollar or review Federal Reserve currency balancing operations).
NAFTA was a simple concept that guaranteed wages in the U.S. would be limited, yet it was passed anyway. By comparison with any other single country, the U.S. dominates yet our federal politicians seemingly unarmed with any currency or economic acumen continue to mute our strengths out of some fictional globalistic view. Just because the U.S. can drive an advantage under a bilateral deal does not mean the U.S. is not interested in mutual benefits to drive growth via fair trade. The U.S. needs foreign currencies to be strong and their consumers to be able to buy American goods. Where in the Constitution did our forefathers authorize giving away American assets to foreign sovereignties? There is no real accountability nor even public disclosures of explanations for these billions of dollars in outflows. What happens when a foreign government such as China negotiates with the U.S.? The natural first language of China being Mandarin has to be converted to English because the U.S. is monolingual. This means every thought/deal point is heard by the U.S. in their initial language while the Chinese counterpart has to convert it. Imagine how much harder this is for Chinese companies to deal with American companies. If the U.S. was weaker individually or smothered in a temporary regionally constructed environment with a different language would we not lose our natural advantage in the bargain?
The U.S. should emphasize bilateral arrangements, insist on English as the continuing language of business worldwide, and the media should seriously fact check all politician statements instead of checking their partisan base view prior to air time.
Bob Ohneiser, Lucketts