Trade is not the problem
Yesterday, Sierra Rayne noted that Thomas L. (even a broken clock is right twice a day) Friedman "claims that "[w]e got rich as a country through trade." This is correct.
The marketplace creates wealth, and the marketplace consists entirely of trade. If you buy something, sell something, barter one good for another, do a favor in return for a favor, it is all trade.
Rayne shows a graph that appears to illustrate a logical inconsistency: over the last several decades, annual GDP growth has declined while trade as a percentage of GDP has increased.
Senior research fellow Patrick McLaughlin of the Mercatus Center produced a short video that admirably explains why this logical inconsistency exists: government regulations have exploded over the same period of time.
As the regulatory avalanche has proceeded apace, it has become harder and harder (read: more expensive) to do business in this country. NAFTA, Mr. (soon to be president) Trump, is not the problem.
As the learned possum philosopher Pogo so sagely noted, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."