A new article published yesterday in The Wall Street Journal, featuring new research by The Heritage Foundation, tries to slice through the rhetoric on trade policy during a week when the Obama Administration announced a new trade suit against China.
The article reaffirms the basic benefits that free trade brings to our economy. Not only does trade of clothing and toys from China create nearly 600,000 jobs in the United States, as Heritage found, but the Journal also mentions:
Fifty-five cents of every $1 dollar spent on a product with a “Made in China” label actually goes to Americans who design the products; manufacture components that are shipped to China for final assembly; transport the goods; market and retail them; finance their production and trade, and so on.
What often gets lost in the campaign rhetoric is the reality that trade—both exports and imports—creates jobs. Americans benefit through lower prices, product diversification, and higher wages. For example, a paper by the Council on Foreign Relations reports that incomes are 10 percent higher than they would be without international trade.
The jobs created by free trade are good-paying jobs, ones our country needs in order to continue to be an economic leader on the world stage.