Bittersweet: The Winners and Losers from Free Trade

Sep 12, 2016

Trade, trade, trade. We’ve heard a lot about why it’s bad. But who wins and who loses from trade?

Throughout the 2016 election trade was routinely criticized for its role in eliminating US jobs. But the reality may not be that simple. Trade presents trade-offs. While trade eliminates jobs that are particularly exposed to foreign competition, it also increases people’s living standards by reducing the price of the goods and services they consume on a daily basis. However, those who’re left behind by trade may not have the resources to adjust to its disruptive impact.

So what can policy makers do for these people? Trade barriers are one possibility, but that would reduce everyone’s living standards and do little to bring back jobs. The real question is how to help those who are left behind by trade, while harnessing those aspects of trade that benefit everyone. Join the Institute for Global Affairs (IGA) as we explore both the bitter and sweet features of trade.

This video includes references to the Eurasia Group Foundation, now known as the Institute for Global Affairs.

A brighter future for all