… is from Bryan Riley’s excellent 2016 essay “How Americans Benefit from Trade“:
Someone said NAFTA could have been called the North American Cancer Reduction Agreement, since it increased the year-round supply of fruits and vegetables for U.S. households.
The lesson here is that the standard account of trade issues that you find in the news is wrongheaded. That view identifies the national interest with increasing exports in order to create jobs, and holds that trade agreements that help other countries export more than our own country are bad trade deals. But a better measure is whether those agreements increase Americans’ freedom, regardless of what happens to exports and imports as a result.