It looks like the major media outlets are doing their full court press to lay the groundwork for the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In recent weeks the news and opinion pages have been filled with articles and columns on the wonders of trade and why all good people should support trade deals like the TPP.
In fact, some of what these pieces say about the wonders of trade is true, there can be large benefits to countries from trading and there is no doubt that the United States is enormously richer as a result of international trade. But that hardly means that everyone was benefitted by the patterns of trade over the last three decades, nor is it a reason to support the TPP.
But let’s be positive about trade. It is possible to envision a different pattern of trade which will offer benefits for the bulk of the population of the United States and also for our trading partners in the developing world.