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Is Free Trade Good or Bad?

Graham Watson

19th January 2017

We rather take for granted the maxim that free trade is a good thing. This article from the BBC's Andrew Walker might just, at the margin make you think again. It makes it clear that economic theory is unequivocal: free trade is good for the whole, but that this doesn't mean that it's good for every individual.

And then it goes on looking at whether or not, even accepting for economy-wide gains, the losers from free trade are adequately compensated, and it concludes that rarely are. As Lawrence Mischel of the Economic Policy Institute, is quoted as saying that "The winners have never tried to fully compensate the losers, so let's stop claiming that trade benefits us all."

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to Tutor2U, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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