The conventional wisdom on the campaign trail is that trade deals like NAFTA have impoverished America. This couldn’t be further from the truth, Heritage economist Brian Riley explains on The Daily Signal.
Americans have benefited tremendously after NAFTA went into force, Riley points out:
U.S. income per person is much higher than when NAFTA took effect. Average income per person has actually increased more here than in Mexico.
U.S. manufacturing output is way up, and manufacturing workers make more money than ever…
That’s not to say that NAFTA single-handedly generated all these improvements. But it certainly didn’t inflict the damage that some politicians and other critics assert.
Not all trade deals are good deals, however. In a separate article, Riley points out that good deals expand free enterprise and limit government intervention. But we need to be wary of deals that expand regulations and limit sovereignty — rules like those British voters rejected when they voted last week to leave the European Union.
Heritage guidance on free enterprise and trade is being heard. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) tweeted last night about a Heritage report making the case from a decade ago:
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) June 29, 2016
Do you think the government should tax and regulate international commerce?