Brust: Economic nationalism could ruin the global system

Allec Brust

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The Don has been digging himself a hole in his first months of presidency. Russian scandals and wiretapping allegations have pushed themselves to the forefront of the young presidency, thus drawing the public away from terrifying truths. One overwhelming aspect of the Trump presidency is the economic nationalist attitudes the Don holds true. The idea of the United States limiting its economic borders is terrifying and should be at the forefront of media attention because it will crush globalization efforts and fail the entire global system. It is simply not a feasible option for a global power like the United States.


As someone with a postcolonial political mindset I see the state of the modern world as a reaction to all the events that came before it. Everything is a social construct that happens as the direct outcome of some sort of social issue after the colonization of any population, for instance a sociological issue that came directly from a moral blunder is the American African population. Without slavery America could not have the social makeup it does today— among many other things I am sure. Disturbing the flow of capital and goods at the source of the most heavily importing countries is bound to have its ailments on society.

Our opting out of the global market will limit important foreign policy freedoms. Globalization prospers on the four freedoms of movement of capital, movement of goods, movement of services and the movement of people. Personally, I believe limiting these freedoms for the rest of the world by adopting a nationalist economy will spark the next world war. However, in the event that it does not, a national economy will not work in the country that is a primary source of capital for other countries. It is not fair to subject the world to poverty and turmoil because the U.S. decides we want to be home grown. On a global scale a nationalist economy is not feasible.

Although a nationalist economy would harm other trade dependent countries drastically, it would hurt at home as well. Although a nationalist economy looks great for the auto industry and other U.S. made products, it will ultimately deprive americans of necessities and cause social unrest. The globalization freedom of movement of people has already been limited as seen in current immigration policies from our president. The conflict of immigration is only one point on the map of social issues a nationalist economy would instigate. The idea of a “home grown” economic society is a very pretty thought until the price of living and the price of social conflict is no longer bearable. On a national scale economic nationalism is not feasible.

At the end of the day my prediction of what could happen with a nationalist economy would be nothing but a slippery slope. All I know is that social implications are often overlooked when discussing the economy in politics. Adopting economic nationalism as the world’s policeman is bound to have detrimental outcomes. It does not take a political scientist to realize adopting this economic strategy would be detrimental to our country and the entire world. Donald Trump needs to take a step back and think about the implications of his actions. Just because a nationalist economy sounds good on paper doesn’t mean it is best for the country or the world.

At the end of the day economic nationalism is everything except what it has to be: feasible.

Allec Brust can be reached at and online at @allecbrust.