In recent years, trade policy has taken center stage in the political arena in both Japan and the United States as each country strives to chart their desired future path. They each face difficult choices and tradeoffs that emerge from pursuing the desirable but to some extent contradictory goals of economic competitiveness, social legitimacy, and political viability. Furthermore, as two of the world’s leading economies, the impact of Japanese and U.S. decisions on trade policy will radiate beyond their respective borders and have global consequences.
On June 26, Mireya Solís, senior fellow and Philip Knight Chair in Japan Studies with the Center for East Asia Policy Studies, discussed her new book, “Dilemmas of a Trading Nation: Japan and the United States in the Evolving Asia-Pacific Order,” which examines the complex navigation required by Japan and the United States to achieve their desired goals and forge their way forward as trading nations. Solís argues that if Tokyo and Washington do not succeed in tackling their defining trade dilemmas of decisiveness, reform, and internationalism, they risk not only their ability to upgrade international economic rules but the reaffirmation of the rules-based international order.