Americans have a love-hate relationship with international trade. Every day we enjoy its fruits, which include better and more affordable products; access to a larger pool of customers, suppliers and capital; and greater employment and business opportunities with foreign companies operating in the United States.
Yet many of us cheer when politicians take to the stump and promise to erect trade barriers, restrict foreign investment and tear up trade agreements. Despite the bluster of campaigning politicians, free trade is essential to our prosperity and free trade agreements have helped deliver its bounty.

The 2016 presidential candidates have taken aim at U.S. trade policy, scapegoating foreigners, their products and the practices of their governments for domestic woes both real and imagined. Donald Trump promises to impose duties on imports from China and Mexico, and punish U.S.-headquartered companies that have foreign operations in their supply chains.