Is the U.S. pursuing the agenda of containing the economic development of developing countries? Under the WTO, countries like Vietnam and India should have favorable treatment, but recently the Trump administration decided to slap tariffs against India and Vietnam, which goes against the spirit of the WTO. Is the U.S. openly pursuing the agenda of containing the economic development of developing countries for its own economic benefits?

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  • Can you define for us your view of "openly", please? – CGCampbell Jul 24 '19 at 14:09
  • I'd say that looking only at the president, and only at one president, does not really tell you about the United States as a whole. – prosfilaes Jul 24 '19 at 16:16
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    When the US pursues free trade (e.g. Washington Consensus) it is accused of economic imperialism. When the US restricts trade it is accused of economic imperialism. I find the latter complaint a bit more strained though. How dare they not allow everyone free access to their ports, markets, and jobs. – A Simple Algorithm Aug 30 '19 at 17:50


Reasons why I think that it's not about containing developing countries:

  • first on the list to hit with tariffs were actually developed countries like Canada or European Union members
  • from geopolitical perspective it makes no sense, as in order to contain China (which seems as logical goal for the US) one would rather have to beef up its rivals like... India or Vietnam
  • while it makes sense to seek some form of economical or political domination in smaller countries, unless they are hostile, it does not makes any sense to impede their growth (it would bring no clear gain, brings implicit cots for own businesses and just creates another enemy)

The US under Trump seems to be using threat of tariffs in order to get a bargain chip in trade negotiations. Not only tariffs were imposed, but in case of example Canada and Mexico they were even lifted.

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    Impeding the development of developing countries has been Western policy since the colonial era, and the US has fully embraced adopting the same policy since its earliest days. Developing countries are often called banana republics for a reason. – Denis de Bernardy Jul 24 '19 at 9:39
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    @DenisdeBernardy Aren't you mixing up goal and potential side effects? I mean getting some generous concession is often the goal, while some potential damage to other economy is side effects of those concessions. // Nevertheless... Western policy??? How could you explain Meji restoration in Japan? Asian "Tigers"? Or rise of China under Deng Xiaoping? – Shadow1024 Jul 24 '19 at 10:01
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    I think you have a lot of things mixed up here. Why do Western economies still control the vast majority of world riches? Why are big tobacco companies suing small countries who implement reasonable public health measures. Why do US/Western-sponsored trade deals have clauses that allow them to sue on the basis that it hurts their business interests to begin with? Why do terms like "for/against the peace process" only ever mean whichever position is being advocating for/against by US/Western interests? (Try to provide even one example where it doesn't.) – Denis de Bernardy Jul 24 '19 at 10:15
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    @DenisdeBernardy Are you asking about the Great Divergence? For whole human history it was absolutely natural that the world was stagnant, while some fluke caused the West to develop faster than the rest and it still maintains part of the spoils? // Are any of those treaties comparative in the abuse potential to OPEC? // Are you asking me whether there is something suspicious that when you watch Western media, you get roughly Western perspective? – Shadow1024 Jul 24 '19 at 10:33
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    @Denis de Bernardy: How is a "banana republic" containing economic development? In the purely literal sense, it would seem to contribute to economic development. Instead of pure subsistence agriculture, the BR exports something - bananas - to the US, which it wants but can't really produce itself. The BR gets money, which it can then exchange for US goods. How's that different from say the Japanese taking a large share of the US automobile market because they're able (or willing) to build better cars than US automakers? – jamesqf Jul 24 '19 at 18:02

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