Political arguments and protectionism often stand in the way of approving free trade agreements, and nations jockey with one another in trade negotiations to gain advantage. Expert Joshua Meltzer says that overall, economic benefits flow to the overall national economy and all the way down to the consumer level when trade barriers are lowered and tariffs come down.
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Meltzer is co-author with Mauricio Cárdenas of a new paper on three free trade agreements pending in Congress, "Korea, Colombia, Panama: Pending Trade Accords Offer Economic and Strategic Gains for the United States."