[Marxism] Free trade or protectionism? – the Keynesian dilemma | Michael Roberts Blog

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jul 11 05:54:47 MDT 2018

The protectionist line has also been peddled by leftist economist Dean 
Baker.  He points out that not everyone gains from ‘free trade’. He 
claims that it was free trade that lost manufacturing jobs in the US, 
echoing the Trumpist argument.  However, there is much evidence that 
this was not the case.  As I said in a past post on Trump, trade and 
technology, “the loss of US manufacturing jobs, as it has been in other 
advanced capitalist economies, is not due to nasty foreigners fixing 
trade deals.  It is due to the inexorable attempt of American capital to 
reduce its labour costs through mechanisation or through finding new 
cheap labour areas overseas to produce.  The rising inequality in 
incomes is a product of ‘capital-bias’ in capitalist accumulation and 
‘globalisation’ aimed at counteracting falling profitability in the 
advanced capitalist economies. But it is also the result of 
”neo-liberal’policies designed to hold down wages and boost profit share.”


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