Third Way Unveils Multi-Year Initiative on Trade
Washington: Third Way today released a new paper critiquing free trade advocates’ recent approach to the issue and heralding the launch of its new multi-year initiative on trade. The aim of the Third Way project is to help restore public support for trade by developing a new policy and message framework on the issue. Representatives Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and Melissa Bean (D-IL) headlined a briefing hosted by Third Way on Capitol Hill today as it released its new paper, entitled Why Lou Dobbs Is Winning. In the paper, Third Way urges trade advocates to change both what they argue and how they argue on trade to communicate more effectively with the American public on the benefits of trade.
Anne Kim, a co-author of the paper and Director of the Third Way Middle Class Program, said: “Trade is like broccoli in the minds of most people – they may know in their heads that it’s good for them, but they don’t want to eat it. Free traders have been losing the battle for public opinion, and turning that around starts with realizing that what we are doing now just is not working.”
Why Lou Dobbs Is Winning analyzes the origins of the burgeoning anti-trade sentiment in the United States. It examines the growth of neopopulism and protectionism in progressive politics, and it lays out three main reasons why advocates of free trade are failing:
• A failure of vision. Free trade has succeeded when it has been linked to compelling causes, such as winning the Cold War. Today, the overall goal of US engagement in the world is far less clear.
• Values trump data. Opponents of free trade appeal to values like “fairness” and “justice,” while proponents rely on data and opaque economic theory.
• An anxious middle-class. Trade proponents have not offered policies that help restore confidence to a middle-class that has been profoundly shaken by the negative impacts of globalization.
Kim continued: “If we want to win renewed support for trade liberalization, we must restore confidence in America’s global leadership, ground our arguments in American ideals and values, and offer a compelling and concrete roadmap to future middle class success in a time of broad global change.”
Contact: Matt Bennett (202) 775-3768 x212