Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist to Vice President Biden, said last week;
“The time has come to create a new category of person in this town: Someone who supports expanded trade and is all for globalization with a voice for working people here and abroad, but who has completely soured on so-called free-trade agreements (FTAs), as they too often squelch that voice.
The need for this new type of person comes from two sources. First, after years of studying, critiquing, trying to improve and even helping to promote FTAs (when I worked for the Obama administration, I helped with the South Korean FTA), I’ve come to view the process as impossibly broken and essentially corrupted. It’s opaque, the end product is incomprehensible to most people, the input (and thus much of the output) is imbalanced, the politics are a hot mess, some of what’s called “free trade” is actually protectionist, and while many elites remain committed to evermore FTAs, there’s little trust among the people.
Second, if you suggest any of the above, you’re quickly labeled as a knuckle-dragging protectionist, not fit for elite company.”