Argument: Free trade increases manufacturing sector productivity in developed countries

Issue Report: Free trade

Supporting Evidence

  • Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, At the Montana Economic Development Summit 2007, Butte, Montana, May 1, 2007 “Another substantial benefit of trade is the effect it tends to have on the productivity of domestic firms and on the quality of their output.4 By creating a global market, trade enhances competition, which weeds out the most inefficient firms and induces others to improve their products and to produce more efficiently. The U.S. manufacturing sector, which is perhaps the sector most exposed to international competition, has achieved truly remarkable increases in its productivity in the past decade or so. In addition, international supply chains, made possible by advances in communication and transportation, reduce costs and increase the competitiveness of U.S. firms. Trade also promotes the transfer of technologies, as when multinational firms or transplanted firms bring advanced production methods to new markets.”