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Dismissing Disagreement (11) Robert M. Solow

| Mar 11, 2022

“An awful lot of the intellectual power of the economics profession has signed this letter. And it’s such a simple proposition it doesn’t really require that. You could not generate a hard exam question out of the material here. Just as economics, the U.S. stands to gain far more from China’s accession to the WTO and full entry into the world trade community. We stand to gain far more than the U.S. risks losing. China already has perfectly good access to U.S. markets because we are and have been, have a long tradition of being an open economy. Accession by China to the World Trade Organization gives us—gives American business—and indirectly, of course, American workers access to a market of —I don’t know what it is—a billion and a quarter people—the six or seventh or eighth largest economy in the world. It’s a poor economy; income per head is not high in China, but it’s growing very fast. And there is no doubt in anyone’s mind, inside or outside the economics profession, that China will be a large market, needing an awful lot of stuff for a very long time. The down side, the possible down side that you hear about, of course, is the possible movement of jobs and capital flow from the U.S. to China. Some of that will happen. There is no doubt about it. But, equally, there is no doubt where the balance of advantages lies. It’s not even close. What you have here is a good example of the standard politics of free trade.”

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Wells King is the research director at American Compass.


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