Why protecting steel workers from China’s imports doesn’t help America

(CNN)During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump blamed the declining labor market prospects of American manufacturing workers on foreign trade, especially from China.

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In this sense, accepting the gains and losses that arise from foreign competition is no different than accepting the gains and losses that arise from domestic competition: in both cases, policies that attempt to avoid these losses generate even worse costs for the economy.
Operating a social safety net that softens the blow for displaced workers is a reasoned response; it helps those who lose from competition, while allowing the gains from new technology and competition to flow broadly. Interference with free trade does little to help the losers from competition while imposing serious costs on everyone.

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/

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