AFL-CIO, "A NAFTA that Works Must Empower Working People, Not Corporations," 2-page overview, June 12, 2017. [2p] Online
  1. How much lower was US manufacturing employment in 2010 than in 1995? How does this compare to what this source said was the number of manufacturing jobs lost due to trade with China?
  2. How does the example of trade in cars and cheese between the US and France differ from that of US trade with China?
  3. What does it mean that "benefits are diffuse but pain is concentrated" and why does that matter?

AFL-CIO, "Making NAFTA Work for Working People," full recommendations, June 12, 2017. [43p, but read only pp. 1-29] Online
  1. Does the AFL-CIO call for rules of origin and require inputs from the United States?
  2. Why do they favor letting governments direct their procurement toward local suppliers?
  3. As a labor union, it is not surprising that some of their most detailed recommendations concern labor. What are they, and how do they want them enforced?

AFL-CIO, "NAFTA at 20," March 2014. [19p] Online
  1. What empirical evidence does this report offer to show that NAFTA was a failure?
  2. What feature of the NAFTA is this report most critical of? Does it offer suggestions for improving that feature?
  3. How do "negative list" and "positive list" approaches differ, and why do they prefer the latter?

Arnold, Chris, "China Killed 1 Million U.S. Jobs, But Don't Blame Trade Deals," heard on NPR, All Things Considered, April 18, 2016. [1p] Online
  1. How much lower was US manufacturing employment in 2010 than in 1995? How does this compared to what this source said was the number of manufacturing jobs lost due to trade with China?
  2. How does the example of trade in cars and cheese between the US and France differ from that of US trade with China?
  3. What does it mean that "benefits are diffuse but pain is concentrated" and why does that matter?

Autor, David H., David Dorn, and Gordon H. Hanson, "The China Shock: Learning from Labor Market Adjustment to Large Changes in Trade," Annual Review of Economics 8, August 8, 2016, pp. 205-240, but omit Section 3 Theory. [31p] Online
  1. Is the decline in manufacturing employment in the US something that has only happened since imports from China began to expand? How have the trade balances of the US and China changed over the last 20-30 years?
  2. Was the rise in China’s exports (to the US and others) a result of our reducing our tariffs on Chinese exports? If not, what did cause the increase?
  3. What is the central empirical relationship that this paper cites, expressed in its equation (4)?
  4. To what extent does Trade Adjustment Assistance and other government tranlisfer programs offset the harm to those who are displaced by imports from China?
  5. How quickly do workers displaced by imports find new jobs and do they escape from the adverse effects of imports?

Baldwin, Robert E., "U.S. Trade Policy since 1934: An Uneven Path toward Greater Trade Liberalization," Working Paper #15397, National Bureau of Economic Research, October, 2009. [32p, but read only Section 5, pp. 25-30] Online
  1. What two branches of the US government are the main decision-making centers with respect of U.S. trade policy, and what motivates them? How important is the US President in determining trade policy, and how have presidents in the past tended to favor, trade liberalization or protection?
  2. How do Republicans and Democrats in Congress typically agree or differ on trade, and how has this changed over the period covered here?

Bergsten, C. Fred and Joseph E. Gagnon, "The New US Currency Policy," Realtime Economic Issues Watch, Peterson Institute for International Economics, April 29, 2016. [6p] Online
  1. To what extent do these authors agree that currency manipulation is a problem? Do they agree with the revised criteria that the Treasury Department had stated just prior to this publication?
  2. Does this article explain what "enhanced engagement" is supposed to be, and does it say what actions are to be taken if countries that have been identified as currency manipulators do not change their behavior?
  3. How much emphasis would these authors place on the bilateral trade deficit of a country vis a vis the United States in judging it to be a currency manipulator?

Bernstein, Jared, "Getting straight about the costs of trade," Washington Post, May 12, 2016. [3p] Online
  1. Trade theory has always acknowledged the costs of trade to those who lose their jobs in competition with imports. The cited work by Autor, Dorn, and Hanson (ADH) identifies another group of losers. Who are they?
  2. The author suggests losses also to communities that do not have any industries competing with imports. Why? What does this assume about the nature of the change in trade?
  3. Does the author recommend that countries like the US should limit trade? If so, how? If not, what does he recommend instead?

Bhagwati, Jagdish, "Does the Free Market Corrode Moral Character?" John Templeton Foundation, October 1, 2008. Canvas
  1. How, according to the author, does globalization reduce child labor?
  2. How does globalization benefit women?
  3. Where is there evidence that trade and foreign investment can reduce poverty?

Brown, Drusilla, "Review of Hufbauer and Schott, NAFTA Revisited: Achievements and Challenges" Journal of Economic Literature 45(1), March, 2007, pp. 187-190. Online (J)

  1. In addition to the textbook gains from trade, what other benefits did proponents of NAFTA expect? What effects on US labor were expected?
  2. Does this reviewer agree with the book's authors that NAFTA was largely beneficial?
  3. Does the article say what NAFTA did in fact to the US labor market?

Davis, Bob and Jon Hilsenrath, "How the China Shock, Deep and Swift, Spurred the Rise of Trump," Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2016. [12p] Canvas
  1. What was the "China Shock"? What effect did it have on US jobs?
  2. Why was the China Shock different from the previous rise in imports from Japan?
  3. Were tariffs ever used to reduce the impact of the China Shock? Did they work?

Deardorff, Alan V., "Benefits and Costs of Following Comparative Advantage," the Sweetland Inaugural Lecture, in Department of Economics, The Economic Outlook for 1998, Forty-Fifth Annual Conference on the Economic Outlook, Ann Arbor, MI, November 20, 1997, pp. 174-215. [42p] Canvas
  1. The word “advantage” implies a comparison. Why, then, is the term “comparative advantage” not redundant?
  2. If it is true that the value of the benefits from trade are indeed larger than the value of the costs, then why would anyone be opposed to trade?
  3. Are there any benefits from trade that are not associated also with some costs?

Deardorff, "Introduction to Comparative Advantage," August 27, 2003. Online
  1. Why is comparative advantage a relative concept in two senses simultaneously?
  2. With two goods and two countries, how do you identify the good in which a country has a comparative advantage?
  3. It the wage rate in a country falls due to trade, do workers lose from trade?

Donnan, Shawn, "Can Donald Trump deliver on his threat to pull out of Nafta?" Financial Times, August 28, 2017. [5p] Canvas
  1. Why may threatening exit from NAFTA be a useful strategy?
  2. Does the President have the constitutional power to exit NAFTA?
  3. Why might exiting NAFTA divide Trump’s base?

Donnan, Shawn, "Trump's top trade adviser accuses Germany of currency exploitation," Financial Times, January 31, 2017. [5p] Canvas
  1. Is the value of the euro low? Does that help German exports? Is this the result of Germany's own policies?
  2. What countries had (as of this writing) Trump accused of devaluing their currencies?
  3. What are the prospects for TTIP (The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership)?

Economist, "China and currency manipulation," The Economist, March 2, 2017. [3p] Canvas
  1. On what basis does the US Treasury Department evaluate whether a currency is being manipulated? On that basis, was the Chinese currency being manipulated to hold down its value, as of this writing?
  2. Why does the Economist not use the bilateral trade imbalance as an indicator of manipulation?
  3. What do they find for the Swiss currency, and why does this indicate how "flawed" these measures are?

Economist, "Economists Argue about the Impact of Chinese Imports on America," The Economist, March 11, 2017. [3p] Canvas
  1. How much of the US fall in manufacturing employment was due to imports from China?
  2. On what bases did Rothwell criticize the results of Autor, Dorn, and Hanson?
  3. Why, according to the research cited by Handley and Limao, did trade with China increase as much as it did? Was it our reduction in tariffs?

Economist, "Keep the Costs of Trade in Perspective," The Economist, December 16, 2016. [5p] Canvas
  1. What did the cited article call "one big policy experiment gone terribly wrong"?
  2. What have been some causes of deindustrialization other than trade with China?
  3. What benefits of trade with China does he say that critics ignore?

Economist, "The North American Free-Trade Agreement renegotiation begins," The Economist, August 17, 2017. [3p] Canvas
  1. What is being asked for when the US says it wants the agreement to "respect sovereignty"?
  2. Rules of origin and normal in FTAs, though they can differ in how restrictive they are. But the US desire to require “substantial American content” is different. Why?
  3. Canada retains high restrictions on dairy imports under the current NAFTA. Why might Canada be willing to relax these?

Economist, "The Trump administration is investigating Chinese trade practices," The Economist, August 17, 2017. [3p] Canvas
  1. What US trade law is the Trump administration proposing to use against China on the grounds that it unfairly gains access to US technology? How common has it been recently for the US to use this law?
  2. What has happened to other uses of trade policy that were proposed by the Trump administration, specifically the national-security-based safeguard tariffs on steel and aluminum? Why?
  3. Is this use of the law permitted under the rules of the World Trade Organization?

Economist, "Why Germany's current-account surplus is bad for the world economy," The Economist, July 9, 2017. [5p] Canvas
  1. Why is Germany’s surplus a problem for the world?
  2. What are the cures for Germany’s surplus recommended here?
  3. Germany attributes its high saving to the need for its aging society to save more. Why does the article say that does not explain it?

Faux, Jeff, "Overhauling NAFTA," Viewpoints, Economic Policy Institute, February 29, 2008. Online

  1. What were the adverse effects that the author attributes to NAFTA?
  2. Who has spoken in favor of renegotiating NAFTA?
  3. What is the deal that the author would like the US to negotiate with Mexico as part of renegotiating NAFTA?

Franko, Cloe, "No Corporate Trade Deals," Corporate Accountability International, June 20, 2017. [2p] Online
  1. Is it clear what are the proposed “incentives for corporations to offshore jobs”?
  2. The mention of NAFTA tribunals seems to refer to the ISDS. Is that in fact included in what USTR is asking for?
  3. Was it really a “mobilized movement of people around the world” that stopped the TPP?

FT View, "Donald Trump beats a retreat over China's currency," Financial Times, April 16, 2017. [3p] Canvas
  1. This editorial in the British Financial Times is very critical of President Trump. Does it say that Trump was wrong to not name China as a currency manipulator?
  2. The US dollar rose in value after the election, something here called the “Trump Trade.” What explanation for the rise did Trump himself give? What explanation does this editorial give?
  3. If Trump had named China a currency manipulator, what would have happened then, according to this?

Krugman, Paul, "The China Shock and the Trump Shock," New York Times, December 25, 2016. [1p] Online
  1. Krugman opposes the policies that Trump might initiate to reverse the growth of trade. Is this because he views the growth of trade as purely beneficial?

Landler, Mark, "Blind Spots in Trump's Trade Tirade Against Germany," New York Times, May 30, 2017. [4p] Canvas
  1. Why does Trump criticize Germany for its trade surplus?
  2. Who owns the company that exports the most cars by value from the United States?
  3. How might Germany change its trade and exchange rate policies to satisfy Trump?

Lankford, James, "The U.S. trade deficit is a good thing. Really," Washington Post, August 14, 2017. [2p] Online
  1. In what sense does the author say that a trade imbalance reflects the incomes of the countries?
  2. How does international investment matter for the trade deficit?
  3. What prompted this Republican senator to make this argument in favor of the US trade deficit?

Lester, Simon, Inu Manak, and Daniel Ikenson, "Renegotiating NAFTA in the Era of Trump: Keeping the Trade Liberalization In and the Protectionism Out," Cato Working Paper No. 46, Cato Institute, August 14, 2017. [18p] Online
  1. The Cato Institute, from which this document comes, is very pro-trade. Does it favor renegotiation of NAFTA? Is it willing to support it?
  2. Of the changes that these authors favor, which seem likely to be agreed to by the Trump administration, and which not?
  3. What are the main areas that the Trump administration seems likely to want where Cato is clearly opposed?

Mankiw, N. Gregory, "Want to Rev Up the Economy? Don't Worry About the Trade Deficit," New York Times, December 2, 2016. Canvas

  1. Why does Mankiw view the trade deficit as a "sign of success"?
  2. How will deregulation, tax cuts, and increased government spending affect the US trade deficit?
  3. How would an increase in import tariffs affect exports?

McDonnell, Patrick J., "Mexico says it won't renegotiate NAFTA with President Trump via Twitter," Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2017. [2p] Online
  1. Mexico says here that I will not negotiate “vis social media or the press.” How do we know they said this?
  2. Who in the US does this article mention as benefiting from NAFTA?
  3. Why does Mexico reject Trump’s claim that it has high crime and will pay for the wall?

Panetta, Alexander, "Canada's 10 NAFTA demands: A list of what Canada wants as talks start this week," CBCNews, August 14, 2017. [2p] Online
  1. There are two special dispute settlement mechanisms in NAFTA, one is the investor-state dispute settlement (Chapter 11) and the other is a way for one country to challenge another’s use of anti-dumping and countervailing duties (Chapter 19. Does Canada want to keep, modify, and get rid of these?
  2. What completely new issues does Canada want to include in NAFTA? What issues were part of side agreements to NAFTA that they now want as included in the main agreement?
  3. Is Canada now willing to open its market to imports of dairy?

Porter, Eduardo, "Labor Wants to Make Nafta Its Friend. Here's the Problem." New York Times, August 22, 2017. [5p] Canvas
  1. What does this say is wanted in the NAFTA renegotiation by the AFL-CIO that this author says is "a fairly loopy idea."? What does he say (quoting others) would happen in Mexico if this were done and enforced?
  2. Does he oppose using NAFTA to improve worker rights in Mexico?
  3. What changes would he like to see in the US?

Posen, Adam, "The errors of conservatives obscure the case for trade," Financial Times, July 22, 2014. Online-Proquest
  1. When a US factory moves to Mexico and employs 100 workers there, what -- according to the article -- happens to employment in the US?
  2. How did the unemployment rate in the US compare in the decade following NAFTA to the decade before it?
  3. The article accepts the estimates of critics that NAFTA imports cost 45,000 jobs a year for two decades. Why doesn't he view that as serious?

Talley, Ian, "U.S. Treasury Stops Short of Calling China a Currency Manipulator," Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2017. [3p] Canvas
  1. Since the Treasury chose not to name China as a currency manipulator, did this report therefore say positive things about China's exchange rate policies?
  2. Over the last twenty years, how many countries have been named as currency manipulators in these semi-annual Treasury reports?
  3. Was the Treasury report critical of any other countries' exchange rate policies?

USITC, "U.S. Trade Policy since 1934," Chapter 3 in The Economic Effects of Significant U.S. Import Restraints, United States International Trade Commission, August 2009, pp. 59-123 (read only pp. 59-89). [31p] Online
  1. Explain the meaning and significance of: MFN, GATT, TAA, GSP, VER, Fast Track, TRIPs.
  2. Why have Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) proliferated, and are they beneficial or harmful for the progress of trade liberalization?
  3. Why was the Uruguay Round and WTO considered beneficial for the United States?

USTR, "Summary of Objectives for the NAFTA Renegotiation," Office of the United States Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President, July 17, 2017. [18p] Online
  1. Which of these items, if any, seem to move the US in a protectionist direction?
  2. Which of the changes in the existing NAFTA seem likely to reduce the US trade deficit?
  3. Do any of these provision appear to reverse any of the trade liberalization that was included in the original NAFTA?

Verrill, Charles, Jr, "An Introduction to Trade Remedies Available under U.S. Law," memorandum to clients and friends, Weiey, Rein & Fielding, April 1, 1999. [3p] Canvas
  1. Who has "standing" under the antidumping law? Who determines whether there is dumping?
  2. How do the injury requirements differ for antidumping as compared to safeguards?
  3. What can a U.S. producer do if it believes that its competitors in another country are engaging in anticompetitive conduct that is being tolerated by their government?

WTO, "What is the World Trade Organization?," part of the WTO website Understanding the WTO. [2p] Online
  1. What are the three main components of the WTO?
  2. How does the WTO differ from the GATT that preceded it?
  3. What countries are members of the WTO?

Yglesias, Matthew, "Justin Trudeau, unlike Trump, is taking NAFTA renegotiation really seriously," Vox, August 23, 2017. [4p] Online
  1. Why does Trump not seem to be taking the renegotiation seriously?
  2. Why do some US demands "appear to be symbolic, meaningless, or unworkable"?
  3. Can you tell from this any demand from both sides that the other might meet?