In 1963, US President John F. Kennedy said that "a rising tide lifts all the boats. And a partnership, by definition, serves both parties, without domination or unfair advantage." Half a century later, Edwards and Lawrence conclude that this maxim will remain appropriate for some time in the future as a guide for US international economic policy in general and trade policy in particular. They contradict widely held public views on the effects of trade with emerging economies on US employment and demonstrate that trade has often been assigned a role in America’s economic difficulties that far exceeds its impact. Because the United States is still embroiled in recession, concerns raised by prominent economists about lower US welfare, increased inequality, and lower real wages for most US workers are especially troubling because they relate to the long-run impact of trade. If true, they would not be mitigated by the passage of time and would be present even if the US economy returned to full employment.


Edwards, Lawrence, and Robert Z. Lawrence. Rising Tide: Is Growth in Emerging Economies Good for the United States? Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2013.