Does Global Trade Have to Be a Zero-Sum Game? Does Global Trade Have to Be a Zero-Sum Game?
*Photo by Gregory Bull/Associated Press. Design by Louise Bova.

A box containing an order from is shown after it was delivered to a house in Etters, Pa, Sept. 16, 2005. The rapid growth of digitization and e-commerce is rendering many long-time trade practices and policies obsolete. Photo by John Zeedick/Associated Press.

How the Internet and E-Commerce Are Hacking Protectionism

What the U.S. Can Do to Help Small Online Entrepreneurs Tap the Global Marketplace

Consider two distinct worlds only a few miles from each other. One world is that of Jennifer and Nicole, recently featured in The New York Times, who have worked all their lives at the Carrier air conditioner factory in Indianapolis and eagerly expect President Trump to impose tariffs on air conditioners to prevent their factory from moving to Mexico. The other world is that of Travis, who lives 150 miles away in Elkhart, Indiana, and started his online business at $3,500 and today sells motorbike gear to 131 countries and …


Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, in 2009. Photo by Nati Harnik/Associated Press.

The Cap-and-Trade Solution to Our Trade Dispute With China

Warren Buffett’s Three-Decade-Old Plan Could Finally Be the Right Idea

President-elect Trump’s criticism of our trading relationship with China and our trade deficit with that nation has produced predictable reactions. Economists warn against “protectionism” and the dangers of trade wars. Alarmed diplomats remind us of the American interest in maintaining good relations with China to deal with such matters as North Korea’s threatening behavior.

These reactions are predictable because we have heard them all before. Back in the 1980s, the trade villain de jour was Japan. (China was just emerging into world markets.) Proposals to address trade deficits with Japan provoked …


Ruling and opposition lawmakers brawl as discussions start on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) planned with China on the legislature floor, July 8, 2010, in Taipei, Taiwan. Lawmakers were seen shoving and punching each other in Taiwan's legislature after the speaker rejected an opposition bid to conduct a detailed debate on a contentious trade pact with China. Photo by Wally Santana/Associated Press.

Are Trade Shocks to Blame for Our Extremist Politics?

Researchers Hunt for the Missing Link Between Import Imbalances and Populist Anger

Does economic competition from low-wage manufacturing countries like China make politics in Western countries more …


Andrea Rosales stops to snack on a strawberrry from a field she is picking in Irapuato Mexico, April 3, 1997, as her son Juan Antonio, 4, watches. Photo by Joe Cavaretta/Associated Press.

If You Want Strawberry Fields Forever, You Need Migrant Labor

A Year-Round Supply of Low-Priced Food Demands Seasonal Workers Free to Cross Borders

Two hundred years ago this year, British economist David Ricardo published his monumental work “On The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation.” In it …


Visitors sit in front of a WALL-E poster at the 24th MIPCOM (International Film and Programme Market for TV, Video, Cable and Satellite) in Cannes, France, Oct. 2008. Photo by Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press.

The "Aliens" Taking Our Jobs Are Not the Illegal Kind

The Backlash Against International Trade Is Rooted in Real but Misplaced Fears

Can we have all the adults in the room stand up and chant in unison: “Who’s Afraid of Global Trade? Who’s Afraid of Global Trade?” That should calm us down. It worked for the three little pigs. …


Security guards patrol the main gate of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China, Nov. 29, 2013. The free trade zone was launched to free up cross-border commodity and capital flows in the world’s second largest economy. Photo by Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press.

Want to Really Help Workers? Then Embrace Free Trade

Protectionist Barriers Won't Stop Robots from Taking U.S. Jobs

Ideas, innovation, exploration, and entrepreneurship make societies rich. When you buy something built elsewhere you are not just buying a fancy new object. You are importing ideas and innovation. When we welcome traders and merchants, with their wares and goods they exchange with ours, we trade not just goods and services, we open our minds to new ways of doing things—doing it more efficiently, more economically, and sometimes more aesthetically—breeding entrepreneurship. When we work with scientists, religious scholars, political …