CAMBRIDGE (Dec 27): US President Donald Trump’s on-and-off trade war against China added ominous clouds of uncertainty to the world economy in 2019, raising the prospect of a significant global economic downturn. His erratic and bombastic style made a bad situation worse, but the US-China trade war is a symptom of a problem that runs much deeper than Trump’s atavistic trade policies.

Today’s impasse between these two economic giants is rooted in the faulty paradigm that I call “hyper-globalism,” under which the priorities of the global economy receive precedence over the priorities of the home economy. According to this model for the international system, countries must maximally open their economies to foreign trade and investment, regardless of the consequences for their growth strategies or social models.

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