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Free Trade

What is free trade, why has it garnered so much attention in the media, and is it good or bad for the economy?

Politicians on both the left and right have demonized free trade in recent years. Many have ridden a populist surge animated by nationalism and a push back against economic globalization. Acton experts explain how free trade is a powerful driver of wealth creation, poverty alleviation and human flourishing.

Truly free trade

Essay Acton PowerBlog

Throughout our political discourse, we continue to hear critiques of free trade from left and right, each of them ultimately aiming to prod us closer to an abstract notion of so-called “fair” or “fairer” trade. 

Lincicome free trade RFA

Audio Radio Free Acton

International trade attorney and Cato Institute Adjunct Scholar Scott Lincicome talks about the benefits of international trade for the United States, and explains how the benefits of free trade to consumers far outweigh the costs.

NAFTA explainer

Essay Acton PowerBlog

What is NAFTA? What is its purpose? What has been its effect on the economy? And why is it so controversial? In this Explainer post, Joe Carter helps answer these questions and more about this landmark free trade agreement.

Fair Trade Help the Poor

Essay Acton Commentary

The Fair Trade movement argues that the free market trading system hurts the poor by paying less than equitable prices for commodities. But what what makes it supposedly more "fair" than free trade? And what are the unintended negative consequences of "fair trade?"