Revoking trade deals will not help American middle classes: ...The idea that renegotiating trade agreements will “make America great again” by substantially increasing job creation and economic growth swept Donald Trump into office.
More broadly, the idea that past trade agreements have damaged the American middle class and that the prospective Trans-Pacific Partnership would do further damage is now widely accepted in both major US political parties. ...
The reality is that the impact of trade and globalisation on wages is debatable and could be substantial. But the idea that the US trade agreements of the past generation have impoverished to any significant extent is absurd. ... My judgment is that these effects are considerably smaller than the impacts of technological progress.
A strategy of returning to the protectionism of the past and seeking to thwart the growth of other nations is untenable and would likely lead to a downward spiral in the global economy. The right approach is to maintain openness while finding ways to help workers at home who are displaced by technical progress, trade or other challenges.