Greg Mankiw is the chairman of the economics department at Harvard. He has also written the best selling economics textbook in the US. His defense of the proposed trade pact between the US and its trading partners in the Pacific region is right out of his textbook. His defense of TPP tells us a lot about Mankiw, and about many economists. His argument is pretty simple. The economics profession unambiguously supports free trade. Unfortunately, most people have misconceptions about free trade, presumable because they are not economists. It would be foolish to pay much attention to the naive critics of TPP. They should read Mankiw's textbook
Mankiw reaches back in time to Adam Smith and David Ricardo to explain the virtues of free trade. Apparently, the economics profession has not progressed very far from the ideas about trade that were developed hundreds of years ago in England. They certainly helped England establish global markets for its products which provided its manufacturers with economies of scale which Smith clearly understood. Most of the critics of TPP are generally supportive of international trade. They don't need a lecture about trade from Mankiw. They oppose many of the details that are part of the trade agreement. Many of the questionable details in the trade agreement appear in the comments that follow Mankiw's arrogant defense of the general idea of free trade.
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