A Blueprint for a New American Trade Policy

Timothy Meyer and Ganesh Sitaraman • December 2018

For decades, U.S. trade policy has been based on the assumption that trade liberalization is beneficial for everyone, with few distributional downsides over time. But this assumption hasn’t been borne out. This report offers ten recommendations on how to reform American trade policy, to address three fundamental challenges: (1) our trade bureaucracy is poorly designed to craft and execute a trade policy that pursues multiple important ends, including economic and national security; (2) the domestic process through which the United States makes trade agreements is rigged to provide preferential access to certain interest groups (capital and corporations) but not others; and (3) U.S. trade policy has failed to grapple with the distributional consequences of trade liberalization.