Skip to main content


Confronting Fears about Open Trade

By Gary Burtless, Robert Z. Lawrence, Robert E. Litan, and Robert J. Shapiro

For much of the post-World War II period, the increasing globalization of the U.S. economy was welcomed by policymakers and by the American people. We gained the benefits of cheaper and, in some cases, better foreign-made products, while U.S. firms gained wider access to foreign markets. The increasing economic interlinkages with the rest of the world helped promote capitalism and democracy around the globe. Indeed, we helped “win” the Cold War by trading and investing with the rest of the world, in the process demonstrating to all concerned the virtues of trade and markets. In recent years, however, a growing chorus of complaints has been lodged against globalization–which is blamed for costing American workers their jobs and lowering their wages. The authors of this book speak directly and simply to these concerns, demonstrating with easy prose and illustrations why the “globaphobes” are wrong. Globalization has not cost the United States jobs. Nor has it played any more than a small part in the disappointing trends in wages of many American workers. The challenge for all Americans is to embrace globalization and all of the benefits it brings, while adopting targeted policies to ease the very real pain of those few Americans whom globalization may harm. Globaphobia outlines a novel, yet sensible program for advancing this objective. Copublished with the Twentieth Century Fund and the Progressive Policy Institute

Get daily updates from Brookings