Exposing Some Myths Trumpeted by Protectionists

by Don Boudreaux on January 31, 2017

in Myths and Fallacies, Trade

My Mercatus Center colleague Nita Ghei and I do our best, in a short space, to debunk some key myths about free trade.  A slice:

Myth: More exports mean more wealth.

Reality: It is the total level of trade—exports and imports—that most accurately reflects American prosperity. Prosperity is defined by the breadth and variety of what Americans are able to consume. More exports increase wealth only because they allow Americans to buy more imports and give non-Americans greater incentives to invest in America, helping the US economy grow. Restricting imports leaves Americans worse off.


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