What's Wrong with Protectionism: Answering Common Objections to Free Trade

Event Trade
Event Trade

November 16, 2018 What's Wrong with Protectionism: Answering Common Objections to Free Trade

~ Books will be available for purchase and to be signed by the Author. ~

Friday, Nov 16, 2018

10:30 am - 11:30 am

The Heritage Foundation

214 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC


Pierre Lemieux

Pierre Lemieux is an economist affiliated with the Department of Management Sciences of the University of Quebec in Outaouais and a senior affiliated scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Lemieux has written books on economics, public policy, and political philosophy, and he has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Canada’s Financial Post, and France’s Figaro Économie.

Daniel Griswold

Daniel Griswold is a Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow and Co-Director of Trade and Immigration. Griswold is a nationally recognized expert on trade and immigration policy. Griswold is also the author of, Mad about Trade: Why Main Street America Should Embrace Globalization, he has testified before congressional committees, commented for TV and radio, authored numerous studies and articles, and addressed business and trade groups across the country and around the world.


Putting tariffs on imported goods or setting other barriers to international trade can be tempting for politicians. They assume that many of their constituents believe that free trade is not fair trade and that other countries aren’t playing by the rules. This belief makes it easy for industry leaders to demand protection for their businesses and their workers—to “put America first.”

But Americans should resist the siren calls of protectionism. In this highly relevant protectionism primer, Pierre Lemieux shows what can happen if they don’t.

As the author demonstrates, trade between any two countries is fair for the same reasons as exchange between two individuals: it is to the benefit of both. Lemieux carefully refutes the arguments of those who would curtail Americans’ access to the benefits of international commerce—from the claim that we can boost economic growth by reducing imports to the belief that free trade leads to “shipping jobs overseas.”

Lemieux shows how free trade improves the lives of American consumers, especially the poor. The narrow agenda of the protectionists—to protect a small minority of producers at the expense of millions of their fellow Americans—is the wrong path for an increasingly diverse and complex economy. This concise primer shows you why.