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Economic Quarterly

Spring 1994

The Free Trade Debate: The Illusion of Security Versus Growth

Robert L. Hetzel

Free trade is now a divisive public issue. Much of the criticism of Nafta derived from the belief that through limiting competition, in this case by protectionism, government can increase the economic security of low-wage workers. Protectionism, however, will not increase economic security but will lower living standards.

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