The Sustainable Equitable Trade Doctrine

By Todd N. Tucker |

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U.S. foreign policy and the need to cultivate international alliances increasingly conflict with U.S. domestic politics, particularly with regard to trade. The 2016 election featured an outgoing Democratic administration insisting the Trans-Pacific Partnership was the U.S.’s last hope to show its commitment to the Asia-Pacific, a Republican candidate blaming it and other trade deals for all that ails the U.S. working class, and a Democratic candidate caught in the middle. Given the rise of right-wing economic authoritarianism that co-opts certain aspects of the trade policy critique of progressives, the latter are struggling with whether to pivot right, left, or center on trade questions.

This report outlines a Sustainable Equitable Trade (SET) doctrine that can make international cooperation more domestically palatable. It uses “doctrine” not in the sense of “dogma,” but rather as a broad set of policy goals through which specific policies (old and new) can be evaluated.

The doctrine has three pillars:

  1. Flip the class bias
  2. Promote systemic participation
  3. Win power

Download the report here

Download our one-pager on Sustainable Equitable Trade

Todd N. Tucker is a political scientist and fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. His research focuses on global economic governance, judicial politics, and the domestic implications of international trade, investment, and tax treaties. Dr. Tucker is author of The Sustainable Equitable Trade Doctrine (a 2017 report) and Judge Knot (a 2018 book on international dispute settlement and lawyering). His writing has been featured in Politico, Time Magazine, Democracy Journal, the Financial Times, and the Washington Post, and he has made hundreds of media appearances, including in and on CNN, the New York Times, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal.