comparative advantage

Salt and the Railroad: Why Trade Matters

Trade agreements, Ross should certainly understand, are also about much more than just tariff reductions.  The best deals cover a wide range of topics of critical importance to businesses and consumers.  Creating the right frameworks for trade helps trigger the local growth that communities near the rail lines in India experienced in the 1800s. A good agreement should be the catalyst for domestic level changes necessary to support better integration and sustainable growth.   Sensible policies create a mutually reinforcing cycle.  Ross has it exactly backwards.  It is precisely because the United States has been open and prepared to embrace global networks that it has become so competitive.  No one wants to build a railroad to nowhere.  Trains only work when they connect to desirable destinations for passengers and cargo.