2019 started off uncertain, at best. With the current government shutdown now the longest in US history and the current outlook on the US-China trade war seemingly bleak, everyone is on edge as the global economy tilts ever more downwards. The article below cites that the IMF has "cut its global growth predictions for this year and the next," while business executives and consumers are fearing a global recession in 2019 (Long). The reason for this rather sudden mood shift is indisputable: the United States, until recently a proponent of international cooperation and open trade, has adopted protectionist policies, exacerbating tensions with adversaries and alienating allies. As the article states, the unpredictability of the tariffs causes uncertainty in the macro-economy, putting businesses in an uneasy position (Long).
As we learned in class, the liberal model advocates the creation of institutions, which are meant to structure incentives and shape preferences in a way that promotes cooperation, resulting in mutual benefit. To do so, institutions create transparency and reduce transaction costs. The state of the current world, however, reflects the mercantilist perspective. President Trump, operating under realist ideals, sees trade and interdependence as vulnerability and has therefore cut off many economic ties that the US once had, advocating for "America First." However, though the purpose of these policies are to enhance national power in the context of the world, I argue that it has done the exact opposite. With the economic slump, political turmoil (internal and external), and social unrest that has taken place in this administration, the US finds itself in a more precarious situation than before, when it was comfortably sitting as the sole hegemonic power. The path forward, perhaps, would be a return to economic liberalism, thereby boosting the global economy (with the US at the forefront), securing former allegiances, and calming the social unrest that may prove problematic as 2020 approaches.