The global financial crisis of 1997-98 and the widening US trade deficit have precipitated fresh inquiry into a set of perennial questions about global integration and the US economy. How has global integration affected US producers and workers, and overall growth and inflation? Is a chronic and widening deficit sustainable, or will the dollar crash, perhaps taking the economy with it? If the problem was one of “twin deficits,” as many thought, why has the trade deficit continued to grow even as the budget deficit narrowed to zero? If US companies are so competitive, why does the trade deficit persist? Is the trade deficit a result of protectionism abroad? Will it lead to protectionism at home? What role do international capital markets have?
Each chapter presents relevant data and a simple analytical framework as the basis for concise discussions of these major issues. The final section of the book provides an outlook for the deficit and suggests alternative policy courses for dealing with it. This book is designed for policymakers and others who are interested in the US role in the world economy. It is also suitable for courses in international economics, business, and international affairs.