Our Founding Fathers Rejected
FREE TRADE And So Should We

Chapter Samples Buy the Book

Nobel Laureate Paul Romer Says Free Trade Hurts the Vulnerable

While foreign investment and the flow of ideas are important to stoking growth and innovation, there is a role for tariffs and subsidies on goods trade and production in order to ensure the US remains competitive, he said.

Highlighting the impact to job prospects for workers who are high school graduates, Romer warned that their living standards continue to decline due to decades of unfettered globalization.

“High school educated are dying younger, they are dying from deaths of despair,” said Romer, who is an economics professor at Boston College. “These are underlying indicators that tell us life is not getting better, it is getting worse for a large fraction of people here in the US.”

One way to tackle that is distinguishing the flow of ideas from the flow of objects, likely through a more hawkish trade policy.

“We want to encourage as much flows of ideas around the world as we can, but we don’t have to worry so much about the flows of objects because we don’t get much benefit from the trade in the objects,” Romer told Bloomberg Television’s David Westin. “It’s the trade in ideas that is essential for faster growth.”

Read the article.