Historical Benefits of Trade

Interview with Dr. Douglas A. Irwin on the historical benefits of trade

Minute 1’53s: What’s wrong with the view that trade is a zero-sum game.

Minute 4’50s: A review of the concept of comparative advantage by using the textile and apparel industry as an example.

Minute 7’30s: What is trade protectionism?

Minute 9’02s: Why did the United States brace the idea of free trade after WWII and push forward the establishment of the multilateral trading system GATT?

Minute 10’30s: what drives the U.S. trade deficit from the economic perspective?

Minute 15’57s: international trade and U.S. apparel manufacturing jobs

Minute 22’15s: Is TPP a dead deal?

Minute 27’56s: What should Trump do about trade policy?


Author: Sheng Lu

Professor @ University of Delaware

8 thoughts on “Historical Benefits of Trade”

  1. The United States is already in the zoom of producing without labor, but with all the machine. So stoping trade, will make the people in the country go back to the orginal like has lots of larbor work, but this will also stop the country import their stuff to other countries such as plane, and machine, etc.

  2. After watching this video and taking this class, I believe that Trump should be taking more time and consideration into his trade policies and ideas. Before making any drastic decisions, I feel that President Trump should meet with important people in the industry to understand everything there is to know. By having more knowledge of the industry, the President can make a more knowledgeable and logical decision, before it affects others.

  3. I think President Trump lacks the information and knowledge to make decisions on the trade policies regarding the fashion industry in the United States. The United States is in the process of moving to completely outsourcing all of its labor. By restricting and cutting of trade will hurt the country and make us fall behind. Also to move labor and manufacturing back over to the United States will cost companies millions as well as the government.

  4. This video relates to an earlier discussion from a video about globalization and whether or not it is good. The overall answer was that globalization was good for the economy and necessary for countries to be able to improve. President Trump is keeping the stigma of America being selfish through his acts and communication. As Julia Hughes has said, no country can do it all. Trump needs to keep reliable and important foreign relationships before it all backfires.

  5. I think it was really important in the video to hear him talk about comparative advantage and how it is important to focus of what a specific country is most capable of successfully specializing in. I feel like its really stressed that the U.s completely makes all of its own products and clothing, etc. and that everyone in the U.S should by things made here, but the truth of the matter is a lot of countries are just always going to have a larger advantage in making certain things as compared to the U.S. It would be more beneficial for the U.S to focus on it’s more successful aspects of trade as opposed to trying to excel in every aspect of making things completely in the U.S.

  6. President Trump needs to realize that America can not do it all on our own. He lacks education and information on the topic of trade policies, and that is hurting our country. Completely outsourcing our labor will hurt Americans and cut off ties with other countries, something we can not afford right now.

  7. The first part of this video is taking about the comparative advantages and absolute advantages. I think each country should do it specialize things in order to have the most benefits. Many Americans cannot find jobs because most part of works is done by machinery. Even trump starts to build more manufacturing industries in the United States; it still will be the machineries to do the work instead of people. So, Trump withdraw TPP is not an optimistic decision. The video also mentions that in 1985, China’s trade surplus with U.S. was a paltry $6 million. But in the last year, China ran up the largest trade surplus. I totally agree with speaker’s idea, it said that the real problem is not trade but diminished domestic opportunity and social mobility. technology has shrunk the number of manufacturing employe

  8. While free trade is supported by economists, the other benefits, such as increased diplomacy between countries should never be ignored. The idea that America should (or is even capable) of greatly limiting foreign trade in the ways Donald Trump seems to support while remaining one of the world’s biggest economies is very unrealistic. Not only would the policies he seems to support likely set the U.S. economy backward, it would hurt our relationships with other countries.

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