Magazine May 20, 2019, Issue

The Case for Free Trade

(Prasit Photo/Getty Images)
It is both economic and moral

The policy of free trade — citizens freely buying and selling goods and services across borders without government interference — is under greater attack today than it has been in decades. Despite the fact that American public support for trade and globalization is at an all-time high, politicians, pundits, and a growing cadre of wonks on both the left and the right have become increasingly hostile to the long-standing U.S. political consensus in favor of multilateral trade liberalization. This hostility, however, is mostly misguided. Although it contains certain nuggets of truth about, for example, Chinese mercantilism or onerous trade-agreement rules,

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