Export controls are not a new idea. They date back to at least the 14th century when the English tried to keep longbow technology out of the hands of the French during the Hundred Years War. Today, we face a very different world with multiple adversaries, including non-state actors, and no strong consensus on how or when to act.
About William Reinsch
William Reinsch holds the Scholl Chair for International Business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He previously served as president of the National Foreign Trade Council and as the Under Secretary for Export Administration in the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Entries by William Reinsch
The two Section 201 cases that the president will shortly decide—solar panels and washing machines—are good illustrations of how much the trade landscape has changed in recent years and how unexpectedly complicated these decisions have become.
It would be a guessing game to try to predict what the president might do specifically on trade in 2018. Whatever he decides, there are trends morphing the trading system even as the U.S. Government works to figure out its role in shaping it.