Sunday, March 16, 2014

economist questions free trade

That's supposed to be a man bites dog headline.Most economists regularly and strongly defend tariff-lowering agreements, arguing that the broader benefits outweigh the individual disruptions and suffering.

Most economists, of course, never run for office or have to deal with voters that feel the pain of lost jobs much more than they recognize the supposed benefits of freer trade.

Nobel prize winner Joseph Stiglitz criticizes the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement not because it would lower tariffs but because it would help corporate interests deal with government regulation. It's a point worth considering, even by those [myself included] who generally support these big trade deals -- and fault the Obama administration for not seeking fast-track trade promotion authority much earlier.

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