Although most people win, a few people suffer disproportionately when they lose their jobs. And they are more likely to vote based on this issue. While a good society should seek to ease their difficult transition, they should not be able to hold the rest of society hostage. A desire to share in the benefits of trade is not an argument for closing off trade.

Indeed, according to a recent study by Ball State's Center for Bureau and Economic Research, only 13 percent of the 5.6 million manufacturing jobs lost during the 2000s were due to trade. Automation and increasing productivity has shrunk the number of manufacturing employment worldwide. Even President Donald Trump won't be able to bring these jobs back.

Although we have major problems with the sovereignty-robbing aspects of TPP and its ilk, we seriously doubt that international trade agreements as opposed to domestic monetary dysfunction is the far greater cause of structural employment loss. So blowing up international trade is likely to, on the balance, hurt us.

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