Free Trade?

I just want to be sure everyone sees this, The Free-Trade Blues, by Nancy Folbre, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The key parts, to me:

The specific estimates of economic losses lend support to critics of free trade. Unfortunately, their political impact may be diminished by sheer faith that such losses will be countervailed by benefits like lower prices or higher income growth in less developed countries.

Trade theory emphasizes that those who benefit from free trade should be able to compensate those who suffer, making everyone better off. What trade theory doesn’t explain is why the beneficiaries would offer such compensation unless they are forced to do so.

And this:

The winners in the last round of trade agreements can invest their profits in campaign contributions and political lobbying strategies to ensure their victory in the next round. In other words, winner takes all.

That next round is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which so far looks to be a corporate end-run around our democracy.