The Free Trade Debate

Issue: May-June 2008

Free Trade
Gary Hufbauer


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.

You must be a subscriber of The National Interest to access this article. If you are already a subscriber, please activate your online access. Not a subscriber? Become a subscriber today!