The United States has run a trade deficit with the rest of the world every year for the past 40 years. With the U.S. debate heating up over the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), we will be hearing a lot over the next few months about the trade deficit and its causes. Recently I hosted here at CFR a panel of four extremely bright economists with different views on the subject -- Robert Atkinson of ITIF, Robert Blecker of American University, Dan Ikenson of Cato, and Derek Scissors of AEI. I asked them a simple question: “Is the trade deficit a problem, or not?” The debate that followed was extremely lively, with many areas of disagreement but some surprising areas of consensus as well. Have a look. It is worth your time.
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