Donald Trump has made anti-trade rhetoric a centerpiece of his campaign. Trump seems to view trade as a zero-sum game where the U.S. always loses and ignores the evidence that trade makes Americans richer, including middle class Americans. Trump also ignores the evidence that TPP will give the U.S. a strategic upper hand in Asia, allowing us to push back against unfair trade practices by the Chinese.
The implied proposition—which has been more explicitly stated in the past—that Mexico “benefits more” from a “defective” NAFTA agreement is imprecise, hard to measure, and overlooks two critically important effects of NAFTA for the United States. NAFTA has made U.S. businesses 1) better able to compete in the globalized world and has 2) raised standards of living in the United States by lowering the costs of commercial goods. Americans are now able to afford more products because of overall lower prices.