American mercantilism, redux

I was sound asleep in Ethiopia for Obama's State of the Union address, and it wasn't pleasant to wake up to this debrief:
Then there was his disappointing discussion of trade, which included a bizarre promise to double U.S. exports in five years. Does this mean he expects the dollar to drop dramatically? He also announced the launching of "a National Export Initiative that will help farmers and small businesses increase their exports, and reform export controls consistent with national security" (more on that topic here), and vowed to "seek new markets aggressively, just as our competitors are." Nothing here, other than a cursory, noncommittal mention of the Doha round, indicates that Obama views trade as anything other than a zero-sum game. There's a name for this approach to trade: mercantilism.
Macroeconomics has never been my forte, and I was under impression that mercantilism was essentially a discredited 18th-century pre-economic theory. According to Wikipedia, though, it is not that simple, e.g.:
Paul Samuelson, writing within a Keynesian framework, defended mercantilism, writing: "With employment less than full and Net National Product suboptimal, all the debunked mercantilist arguments turn out to be valid."
I'll have to let others who are more educated in these matters sort this out, but my feeling is not good and my populism radar is blinking.

Obama can't seem to keep anyone happy - he managed to promote the one plank of the liberal/progressive agenda that Paul Krugman doesn't agree with.

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