"Like the president he now serves, Anton doesn't understand how the global trading order actually works. Trade agreements are long and complicated today because they are no longer primarily concerned with reducing tariffs (which are already quite low). Instead, contemporary trade agreements are mostly about harmonizing labor, regulatory, environmental, and copyright standards across many different societies, precisely for the purpose of creating fairer competition between states. Agreements of this kind are very much in America's interest, because otherwise U.S. workers would have to compete with foreign industries where labor and environmental standards are much lower than they are in the United States."
Steven Shavell is Director of the John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics and Business at Harvard Law School; Samuel R. Rosenthal Professor of Law and Economics at Harvard Law School; and Co-Director of the Law and Economics Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research.Last Updated: Jan 6, 2017, 12:57pm