by Bruce L. Ahrendsen
There has been a growing openness and importance in trade over time as indicated by an increasing ratio of trade to gross domestic product for the World. However, some recent movements have been more protectionist and less open to trade. The potential impacts of less trade are explored with the United States (US) taken as an example. Trade agreements have been important in increasing trade by the US, particularly for US agriculture which has had a trade surplus since 1959.
Countries should benefit from trade according to economic theory. However, stances taken by the US administration during the first half of 2017 have resulted in the withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Partnership Agreement and an announced renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. With falling US farm income, the potential undoing of trade agreement benefits, and possible trade retaliations, US agriculture is concerned about any potential disruption in exports and losses from less trade. In addition, US consumers and importers of US agriculture should be concerned about a potential decrease in trade.
APSTRACT, Vol 11. Number 3-4. 2017.