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Whitman in Detroit Free Press, “How to make trade policies work for all Americans”

October 3, 2016

In an October 2 Detroit Free Press op-ed, Marina v.N. Whitman outlines how trade policies can work for all Americans.

Addressing polling data and the policy positions of both presidential candidates against free trade agreements, Professor Whitman writes, “Now we are in danger of having the baby (the gains from trade liberalization) thrown out with the bath water (the associated job and wage losses.)”

Instead, Whitman argues for new policies that “change the political climate for trade.” These include proposals to “make wage insurance and employment support more generous in both amount and duration” and to “extend such measures to all workers displaced by change, rather than singling out those who are the losers from trade agreements.”

Failing to ratify the Trans-Pacific-Partnership (TPP), warns Whitman, would lead to economic and geopolitical losses, as potential trading partners in Asia could look to other countries for support.   

Marina v.N. Whitman is a professor of business administration and public policy at the University of Michigan. Professor Whitman served as a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 1972-73 and as vice president and chief economist of General Motors Corporation from 1979-92.