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After his Asia trip, Obama must not give up on new rules for the global economy

Obama may be leaning toward America-first moves at the expense of other nations. He should resist such steps while forging agreements on a new world economic order.

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President Obama’s trip around the globe via Asia has left contrails of doubt floating over the global economic system. The biggest doubts? Can the US continue as the world’s engine for growth, as the lead architect for free trade, and as the grand protector of financial stability.

From India to Indonesia to South Korea to Japan, Mr. Obama’s nine-day tour revealed just how much the US has turned inward after the Great Recession of 2007-2009 that left stubbornly high unemployment.

At these summits, the president seemed to plead for sympathy as he tries to right the American economy – even if that means US actions create knock-on effects for the rest of the world.

For one, Obama declares that the US economy – and the world – can no longer rely on high consumption of goods by Americans based on easy credit. The US will instead focus on boosting its exports as the main creator of jobs.

On trade, he showed an eagerness to give the US more advantages. He demanded that South Korea renegotiate a pact the two countries had already signed in hopes of further boosting car and beef exports. (He failed.)

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