This past extraordinary primary season has clearly shown that Americans, whether Democrats or Republicans, have finally rebelled against “free trade.”
There is an enormous gap between free trade as it is taught in textbooks and advocated by those who benefit from it and free trade as it is actually practiced in today’s world. Textbooks still unabashedly teach the virtues of free trade, but their arguments assume a world of pure market forces. But the American people don’t live in a world that is anything like that. The American people live in a world where increasingly capable foreign industries, subsidized by their home governments, are destroying significant parts of our economy. They live in a world where obvious currency manipulation goes unpunished, and foreign, state-controlled enterprises, not needing to operate at a profit, can underprice any company that does.
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