Stephen Olson

Stephen Olson is a research fellow of the Hinrich Foundation.

Recent Articles

Trade: The Big Picture

We need a whole new understanding of our goals for the trading system and for America’s interests within it.

AP Photo/Nick Ut
AP Photo/Nick Ut Cargo containers are seen on top of ships anchored off the Long Beach Harbor waiting to be unloaded I n the wake of the announcement on steel and aluminum tariffs, and complaints against China’s thefts of intellectual property, the trade discussion emphasizes a U.S. administration perceived as alarmingly protectionist; and the risks of a damaging trade war between the U.S. and China, and perhaps globally. But the real problem is much broader: a multilateral trade system is seen as moribund, unable to meaningfully reduce barriers and effectively adjudicate disputes. And there is growing unease about the overall state of economic globalization. Related questions include: Is the U.S. undermining the WTO, and if so what are the implications? What are the consequences of the US withdrawal from the TPP, and possible withdrawal from NAFTA? All of these items are merely symptoms of four fundamental underlying issues, which have been slowly coming to a head for years and in...