The case for free trade should not rely on mercantilism

Writing in the Globe and Mail recently, Colin Robertson, vice-president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, makes a good case for a bold approach by Canada’s government if NAFTA is to be renegotiated. Unfortunately, he misses a basic fact from economics and this weakens his case. Robertson, perhaps unknowingly, makes the case for trade based on mercantilism.What fact from economics does he not recognize?Mutual gains from trade. In any trade, both buyer and seller gain. Robertson writes as if he thinks that only sellers gain. Consider two passages from his op-ed where his mercantilism premise rears its ugly head.Here’s the

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