The Chicago Council on Global Affairs recently released a new trade monograph, Rebuilding a Bipartisan Consensus on Trade Policy. According to the new report, which was made possible through a grant from the Charles Koch Foundation, U.S. credibility in trade has been damaged in recent years, but this damage is not yet beyond repair.
“Trade has fallen apart largely because of a misunderstanding of how trade agreements work,” said Phil Levy, senior fellow on global economy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and former White House trade economist. “Attitudes towards trade in both political parties have resulted in policies with short-term costs, but the more serious, long-term penalties are still to come.”
The report details the largest trade developments of the last few years including Brexit, the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the renegotiation of NAFTA culminating in USMCA. It also explores paths the country might take to move toward a nonpartisan consensus on trade, the report outlines potential solutions ranging from easy to difficult.
William Ruger, Vice President of Policy and Research at the Charles Koch Institute, commented on the new report, saying:
“The Trump administration has put trade policy – and tariffs in particular – at the forefront of our national policy discussions for the first time in decades.”
“We are pleased to support Levy’s contribution to this critical conversation. Unfortunately, many thought leaders took the post-war trade liberalization consensus for granted. But we now recognize the need to reinvigorate the study of trade and to make the case for free and open trade in the current era. Thankfully, Levy is a careful advocate of freer trade whose thoughtful arguments guide his readers through these nuanced issues.”
Read the full report here.