Trade

They've moved onto trade. Goolsbee is dodging and weaving like George Foreman at the Rumble in the Jungle. He claims that the agreements are riddled with loopholes. This makes no sense. The loopholes in bilateral trade agreements all run in favor of protected industries in the US--not surprising, since our partners get more out of trade agreements than we do. The protectionist movement in America isn't upset about the bits of the trade agreements that have loopholes; they're upset about the bits that don't.

More reasonably, he points out that we'll have more support for free trade if we take care of the people who lose out. Kemp rejoinders, also reasonably, that we don't have any very good way to make them whole.

Now Kemp loses it by claiming that NAFTA was negotiated by Clinton. This does not make him look like a genius, especially when Goolsbee corrects him. Still, the fundamental fact that Goolsbee is advocating a platform which I, for one, certainly hope he doesn't really believe, kind of shines through.

Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile his neighbor, the patriarch of a 70-acre family farm

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in Business

Just In