Free trade’s not the villain

Cato’s Center for Trade Policy Studies has just released a study by Dan Griswold showing that increased trade is not responsible for a lower standard of living for many Americans. Citing good hard data to counter protectionist opinions, Griswold concludes:

For political and ideological reasons, opponents of trade liberalization have sought to exploit temporary downturns in the U.S. economy to indict the value of trade and trade expanding agreements. But when we account for the passing phases of the business cycle, current indicators for worker and household wellbeing have continued to follow a long, upward trend. Trade expansion and growing globalization have helped raise the standard of living for a broad swath of Americans.To promote further progress for American workers and households, Congress and the administration should pursue policies that expand the freedom of Americans to participate in global markets.

This follows my earlier post on a paper from the liberal Progressive Policy Institute with many of the same conclusions. Now if only the politicians would catch on.