Reprinted from Vox by Zach Beauchamp on September 21, 2016.
For most of the US presidential campaign, the candidates have focused on the harm free trade agreements have done, especially to American manufacturing. One widely cited study by three leading trade economists found that the growth of China’s manufacturing sector cost the US about a million jobs between 2000 and 2007.
US trade policy has wreaked “devastation [on] millions of working class people and their communities from the flood of imports of manufactured goods in the last decade,” Dean Baker, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, writes.
It’s important to have a real conversation about these things, especially after years of elites blithely assuring Americans that trade was nothing but good for them. But there’s a serious danger in taking trade skepticism too far — as, according to a new report, Donald Trump has.
The study, from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, attempted to quantify the impact of Trump’s proposed trade policies. Its conclusion: If a President Trump did what Candidate Trump promised, the US economy would lose more than 4 million jobs and fall into a recession. …