Trade: It’s About Class, Not Country

There is a fundamental flaw in the way that both Donald Trump and his critics generally talk about trade. They make it an issue of country versus country, raising the question of whether China, Canada and other trading partners are treating the United States fairly as a country. Trump of course does this more explicitly with his “America First” rhetoric and complaints about other countries cheating us because they run trade surpluses, but his critics also often use similar language. After all, it is common for the adults in the room to make assertions about China’s theft of “our” intellectual property. Have you had any intellectual property stolen by China? The economist and policy types who have been pushing the trade agenda of the last four decades often make assertions like “everyone gains from trade.” This is what is known in the economics profession as a “lie.”  
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