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Why Is America Undercutting Japan?

At a time when the United States is asking its allies to help it counter China, its wasteful, inefficient industrial policies are making it harder for them to comply. Rather than undercutting its “friends” with subsidies and protectionist trade barriers, America should be focusing on pro-growth innovation and labor-market policies.

TOKYO – Until 2017, America’s trade policies were reasonably well aligned with its strategic objectives. The United States was the world’s largest economy, with unrivaled military power, and its alliances with European countries and others bolstered security and underwrote prosperity for all. It also provided global leadership through bodies like the World Trade Organization, ensuring a common rule-of-law framework to support economic growth and cross-border exchange around the world.