Friday, June 27, 2008

Being Thankful for Trade

According to Cato's Daniel Griswold, trade may have saved the US from recession (though it remains debatable as to whether or not the US is in a recession / was in a recession / or will succumb to a recession). Griswold basically makes the point that with the falling dollar, and expanding US industrial capacity because of a slowing economy, exports have risen dramatically.

Recessions have a habit of bringing out the protectionists in politicians given the apparent loss in jobs because of those dang foreigners. Of course the problem is that politicians seem to want to have exports without imports as if you can have one without the other while also ignoring the benefits of imports particularly for consumers. That said, Griswold's conclusion should be a useful reminder to politicians:

Instead of blaming trade for our current economic slowdown, politicians should be thankful that trade has spared us from something worse.

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