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Economic analysis: The world is turning its back on trade—that’s a big mistake

Countries always get richer when they are more open. Why has this lesson been forgotten?

The World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: Xu Jinquan/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Donald Trump’s assault on multilateralism and on the World Trade Organisation, aided and abetted by an equally misguided team of advisers, requires a spirited response from free traders such as Paul Krugman and Douglas Irwin (both students of one of the authors of this article).

But Trump also attacks free trade itself, embracing the notion that it is a pernicious public policy. This “protectionist fallacy” is unfortunately not his alone. In fact, it is…

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