After World War II, the United States helped build an international economic order on the assumption that free and fair trade benefits all partners. During the postwar years, the American economy was unmatched by any other country. The postwar boom was fueled not just by thriving domestic demand but also by trade, which opened a flow of wealth from the world’s consumers to American workers. Trade made America and our partners more prosperous and secure.
This basic case for trade still stands. When we exchange goods with other nations on equal terms, both countries benefit. Maintaining the conditions that make this possible is the purpose of the international economic order that we took great care to nurture. We need to take violations of this economic order seriously. We must enforce the rules. China, in pursuit of its goals of economic and regional dominance, has been among the most egregious rule breakers.