A New Consensus on Free Trade

During the Clinton presidency, “globalization with a human face” was the motto that underlined US trade policy. Today, under pressure from the outsourcing debate, both the Bush administration and the Democratic candidates are pushing to close the doors on open markets. Gene Sperling, director of economic programs at the Center for American Progress and national economic adviser during the Clinton administration, writes that instead of a protectionist stand, what is needed is “a new progressive consensus that both embraces the power of open markets and addresses the legitimate anxiety of our workers and communities.” Sperling outlines five steps to achieve this consensus: a focus on job creation in a weak labor market; a preemptive strategy that gives workers options before, not after, jobs are lost; improved education; access to dislocation insurance; and a balance between corporate practice and core labor and environmental standards. – YaleGlobal

A New Consensus on Free Trade

Gene Sperling
Monday, March 1, 2004

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The writer was national economic adviser to President Bill Clinton and is now director of economic programs at the Center for American Progress.

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