A United States Senator from Nebraska worries the rhetoric during the presidential campaign is painting a too-pessimistic picture of trade.
Independent Bernie Sanders never tired of bashing trade, making the case in the Democratic presidential primary that trade profited the rich at the expense of the working class. Republican Donald Trump broke with his party to criticize a number of trade deals, casting doubt on whether trade truly benefited the U.S. economy. Democrat Hillary Clinton has cooled considerably on the Trans Pacific Partnership, now opposing the deal backed by President Barack Obama.
U. S. Sen. Ben Sasse says even some of the more optimistic talk on trade troubles him.
“There are some places in the country where you would say, well consumers all win from trade, but producers, it’s sort of a mixed bag, there are some winners and there are some folks who lose,” Sasse tells Nebraska Radio Network. “In Nebraska, we win, win, and win because of trade.”
Sasse says he’s very concerned there is a movement in the country against trade, though he concedes trade causes disruptions in the economy. He says that points to the need for life-long job training in the modern economy in which workers will not retain the same job for 30 years as in the past.
Sasse says Republicans used to be staunch advocates of the benefits of trade.
“So, the Republican Party has now become a party that if you look at our voting demographics are increasingly anti-trade,” according to Sasse. “That’s a problem. We need to make sure we understand the long-term benefits of free trade.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]