If you believe that protectionism and closing down free-trade pacts is only positive for the U.S., it’s time to rethink that position. Less choice of goods and higher prices are good possibilities, lost jobs in some industries owned by foreign firms and a general decline in international relations are probable. Putting greater stress on the economies of countries that are potential adversaries is also strategically short-sighted; check the history books.
So, in the connected world in which we live protectionism may sound like a flag waving good cause, it may be appealing to individuals in jobs directly affected by international trade, but there are consequences. Do you believe that any action by the U.S. will not be countered with similar actions by other countries thereby harming U.S. companies and workers relying on exports?
Before you jump for joy at the anti-trade rhetoric you might want to investigate the unintended consequences.
I rarely agree with Paul Krugman, really rarely, but after I wrote the above I read Krugman’s Op-Ed in the NYT 3-11-16
Here is an expert where he talks about international trade agreements.
Why, then, did we ever pursue these agreements? A large part of the answer is foreign policy: Global trade agreements from the 1940s to the 1980s were used to bind democratic nations together during the Cold War, Nafta was used to reward and encourage Mexican reformers, and so on.
And anyone ragging on about those past deals, like Mr. Trump or Mr. Sanders, should be asked what, exactly, he proposes doing now. Are they saying that we should rip up America’s international agreements? Have they thought about what that would do to our credibility and standing in the world?