Trade, education, and innovation: Prospects for the U.S. economy
This paper examines international trade issues as vital indicators of the economic prospects of the United States and other developed economies. In particular, it challenges misuses of the doctrine of mutual gains from trade and instead argues that comparative advantage does not guarantee increases in benefits to both trading partnersâespecially when one partner seeks to distort the market mechanism in its favor. In the face of such mercantilist or protectionist practices, efforts to advance innovation, without retaining manufacturing jobs, will not ensure continued prosperity, as the number of jobs entailed in the invention process is small compared with the number of jobs associated with manufacturing an innovative product for mass consumption. These matters call for the urgent rethinking of trade policy by the United States and other developed nations, if they are to balance their imports and exports and ensure continued economic growth.
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