Global trade has brought benefits from increased productivity to lower prices but governments have not adequately helped workers and communities hit hard by imports, the world’s top multilateral economic institutions said on Monday.
In a report that serves as their answer to the Trump administration’s more protectionist trade stance, the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization and World Bank said that an open trading system based on well-enforced rules was critical to world prosperity.
The institutions, which have promoted free trade for decades, cited research showing that manufacturing regions that were more exposed to imports from China since about 2000 saw “significant and persistent losses in jobs and earnings, falling most heavily on low-skilled workers.”
It described what U.S. President Donald Trump has called the “forgotten Americans” that he wants to serve with his “America First” trade policies.
“Workers displaced from manufacturing tend to be older, less educated and longer-tenured