The McKinsey Global Institute has just published a memo on the changing character of global trade. Trading myths: Addressing misconceptions about trade, jobs and competitiveness. The misconceptions aren't straw men. The report dispels a lot of confusion about "offshoring" and is well worth reading.
Myth 1: Mature economies are losing out to emerging markets in trade and thus facing increasing trade deficits. In fact the balance of trade between advanced and emerging economies isn't worsening.
Myth 2: Manufactured goods drive trade deficits. No, advanced economies have lately been in surplus in manufactures, even more so in knowledge-intensive manufactures. Imports of primary resources have been driving trade deficits.
Myth 3: Trade is the main cause of lower employment in advanced-economy manufacturing. The main causes are lagging demand and increasing productivity.
Myth 4: Advanced economies can create jobs only in low-end services. Actually trade in services creates high-wage knowledge-intensive jobs--more so than manufacturing.
Myth 5: Trade in services is small, and low-wage economies will capture any increase. Services exports already account for a quarter of rich-economy exports, and the share could be a third by 2030. Trade surpluses in services, properly measured, are growing.