US trade policy and the presidential election

Video

Post-Event Summary
In light of the fact that trade policy has been largely ignored by both Republicans and Democrats throughout the U.S. presidential campaign season, trade experts joined Claude Barfield at AEI on Thursday to discuss the most pressing U.S. trade policy issues and addressed how the next administration should confront them.

Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities opened the debate by tracing the evolution of trade thought in the U.S., from the days of widespread consensus on the virtues of free trade in the early 1980s up until today's "shattered consensus." While recognizing the benefits of free trade, Bernstein pointed to the often ignored costs associated with a freer trading environment, such as the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China.

Grant Aldonas of Split Rock International Inc. then highlighted the philosophical underpinnings of trade and the fundamental values that inform his analysis and positions on trade policy. He challenged what he described as the prevailing — yet outdated —perspective on trade and explained why tariffs are less important in today's economy than they once were. He concluded by emphasizing that trade policy is essential to key social issues and stressed that it is really about investing in America's future.
-- Samuel Eckstein

Event Description
How will the results of this year’s presidential election affect U.S. trade policy, the larger questions surrounding globalization and the alleged outsourcing of American jobs by U.S. multinationals? After criticizing several free trade agreements (FTAs) in the 2008 election, President Obama belatedly supported pending FTAs with Korea, Colombia and Panama, and he has pressed ahead with the 11-member Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. 

While generally espousing traditional Republican support for greater trade liberalization, Governor Romney has vowed to label China an unfair currency manipulator on his first day in office and to take other unilateral trade actions if necessary. So where do the two parties stand on trade issues, and how would a Romney administration differ from a second Obama administration regarding future trade and investment? Trade policy and trade politics experts Jared Bernstein and Grant Aldonas will attempt to answer these questions.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.

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About the Author

 

Claude
Barfield
  • Claude Barfield, a former consultant to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, researches international trade policy (including trade policy in China and East Asia), the World Trade Organization (WTO), intellectual property, and science and technology policy. His many books and publications include Swap: How Trade Works with Philip Levy, a concise introduction to the principles of world economics, and Telecoms and the Huawei conundrum: Chinese foreign direct investment in the United States, an AEI Economic Studies analysis that explores the case of Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei and its commitment to long-term investment in the US.
  • Phone: 2028625879
    Email: cbarfield@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Hao Fu
    Phone: 202-862-5214
    Email: hao.fu@aei.org

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