The Fair Play Debate: Free Trade

Rhetoric aside, free trade can benefit everyone—if only countries were a little more open to the rules of the game.

Issue: May-June 2008

FREE TRADE can benefit everyone-the developed and developing world. In large part because of open markets, the global economy is experiencing its greatest half century. In fact, free trade has increased American household income by lowering costs of products, increasing wages and making more-efficient American companies. And even though open markets may come with costs, the gains of globalization exceed them five times over. So, this means when there are burdens to be borne at home, Congress can well afford to help spread the benefits as workers transition. And if done right, free trade benefits the developing world, too, helping bring states out of poverty, allowing them to bargain on equal terms with far-larger countries and potentially stemming state failure.

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