If trade made the US rich, explain this graph

At the New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman claims that "[w]e got rich as a country through trade." Undoubtedly all mainstream economists would agree with him.  So would probably most alternative economists. So, if what Friedman says it true, how does he – or anyone else – explain the following graph? The more the U.S. trades, the lower its GDP growth becomes.  It's a simple, yet profound and fundamental, relationship that is highly statistically significant and that holds over the entire post WWII period. America became rich under economic nationalism.  Its growth has progressively stalled and is effectively flatlining under an increasing trade regime.  In the early 1960s, trade made up just 9% of U.S. GDP, and growth was rapid.  As of the mid-2010s, trade constitutes 30% of GDP, and growth is nonexistent. There is no need, nor desire, to see the vigorous hand-waving that always occurs whenever such basic questions...(Read Full Post)

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