The first major event of the Mercatus Center’s new Program on the American Economy and Globalization was a resounding success, with more than 200 Congressional staffers, executive-agency administrators, and think-tank scholars showing up to hear a keynote address by Dartmouth College’s great trade economist, Doug Irwin.
In his talk, Doug eloquently busted some trade myths. Specifically, he argued convincingly that trade does not reduce overall employment; that trade deficits are likely beneficial rather than bad; and that protectionism is dangerous. After Doug’s talk, he sat down with my Mercatus Center colleague Dan Griswold (who is on the left in the nearby photo) to further explore the nature of trade and globalization.
After Dan and Doug spoke, I moderated a panel on TPP. On the panel were Ed Gresser, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Trade Policy and Economics, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; Linda Dempsey, Vice President of International Economic Affairs, National Association of Manufacturers; and Ed Gerwin, Senior Fellow, Trade and Global Opportunity, Progressive Policy Institute.
All panelists agreed – as did I – that TPP, while imperfect, will make trade freer and, hence, make Americans more prosperous than we would be if Uncle Sam refuses to ratify this trade agreement. The arguments against its ratification simply don’t stand up to critical analysis if the goal is to promote freer trade.
Dan closed the event with a brilliant review of trade’s benefits – including its prospects of making the world a more peaceful place.
I thank my Mercatus colleagues – especially Dan Griswold and Malia Dalesandry – for arranging for such a stellar and informative line-up of participants.