ABSTRACT FROM CATO
Imports, contrary to popular opinion, have no negative effects on the overall employment level, and most Americans do not work in sectors that face competetion from imports. By trading for goods that can be produced at a relatively cheaper price abroad, the United States must focus on producing goods and services that can be produced at a relatively cheaper price domestically. Therefore, trade encourages investment in those sectors with higher worker productivity, and consequently, higher wges and salaries. Most Americans work in service sectors that face little or no import competition, and for them, imports give more choice for consumers, encourage innovation, and raise wages. Workers in manufactoring and farming sectors that have some import competition make up a small percentage of total workers. In fact, technology and other factors caused more lost jobs than imports did. Trade barriers do not save jobs, and thus policy should encourage creating new jobs.
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