Trade and Investment agreements are not good deals for most working Americans

Trade and Globalization

The New York Times—“Room for Debate”/Robert E. Scott
Are Trade Agreements Good for Americans?

See excerpt: It’s no surprise that voters on the right and the left are uneasy with U.S. trade policy—and they have every right to be. For years, the United States has consistently run much larger trade deficits than other developed nations, and we have suffered more trade-related job loss as a result. While growing exports tend to support domestic employment, growing imports costs jobs and reduces domestic output. Thus, the size and growth of trade deficits is strongly correlated with trade-related job loss. Over the last 20 years, trade and investment deals have increased U.S. trade deficits and cost Americans their jobs. The agreement allowing China into the World Trade Organization led to trade deficits that eliminated 3.2 million jobs between 2001 and 2013 alone. Meanwhile, the United States already faces a trade deficit with countries in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership that cost 2 million U.S. jobs in 2015—a trade deficit which would surely get worse if the pact is enacted. But lost jobs are just the tip of the iceberg of trade’s broader effect on the economy.


Robert E. Scott

Senior Economist and

Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research | Economic Policy Institute

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