The Trump administration hasn’t just slashed the cap levels on refugee resettlement. It isn’t even attempting to meet those limits, leaving thousands of refugee-admission slots unused every year. This inaction comes at a time when the United Nations estimates there to be overin need of resettlement. Few examples come to mind of a more needless and depraved abdication of responsibility by an American president, the costs of which are borne by the world’s most vulnerable people.
It is interesting to contrast global skepticism about free trade with support for expensive, inefficient methods to combat global warming. Many argue that we should act, even if such action will have no benefit for the next decades, because it will help lessen the impact of global warming by the century’s end.
But free trade also promises few benefits now and huge benefits in the future. Moreover, if we could stop global warming (which we can’t), the benefit for future generations would be one-tenth or less of the benefit of freer trade (which we certainly can achieve). Still, there are few celebrity campaigners calling on politicians to sort out the Doha Round.
Global fear about free trade leaves the planet at risk of missing out on the extraordinary benefits that it offers. Free trade is good not only for big corporations, or for job growth. It is simply good.