NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Report Says U.S. Benefits From World Trade Organization

April 14, 2000

Membership in the World Trade Organization has been a boon both to U.S. exporting companies and American consumers, according to a study by the Cato Institute's Dan Griswold. The WTO promotes more vigorous global competition among producers -- leading to lower consumer prices, rising worker productivity and higher living standards, he concludes.

  • More than 80 percent of jobs created since 1993 have been in occupations that pay above the median wage.
  • Despite warnings of "deindustrialization" if the U.S. joined the WTO, manufacturing output here has risen by 42 percent since 1992.
  • Some 80 percent of foreign direct investments by U.S. manufacturing firms has been directed to other high-wage countries, while investment in such low-wage countries as China and Mexico has remained relatively small.
  • America's trade deficit is not the result of unfair trade barriers abroad, but of our continuing surplus of foreign investment, the report concludes.

Griswold writes that "WTO membership exerts pressure on the U.S. government to keep our own market open to the global economy."

Source: Dan Griswold, "WTO Report Card: America's Economic Stake in Open Trade," Trade Policy Briefing Paper No. 8, April 3, 2000; The Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001; (202) 842-0200.


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