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Overview

Despite the fact that free trade has provided overwhelming benefits for the vast majority of American families, workers and businesses, the longstanding consensus in favor of trade has frayed. For the first time in generations, both major party presidential nominees were openly skeptical of trade (one outright hostile), and both Republicans and Democrats in Congress openly campaigned against Trans-Pacific Partnership. Such rhetoric has real harms: not only does anti-trade sentiment among our political class influence public opinion and undermine future trade liberalization efforts, but it also has real and immediate effects on global trade and investment decisions. In a time when our stagnant economy could use a trade-provided boost, such proposals are nowhere to be found.  Until free trade proponents adopt a new approach - one that actively embraces both the economic and moral superiority of free trade - the protectionists will keep winning, thus ensuring less freedom and a lower standard of living for us all.