Protectionism is incapable of saving jobs. Employment in specific industries has declined largely because productivity growth has outpaced demand growth. Rising productivity is good for the economy; it provides workers with opportunities for higher paying jobs. Trade protection defers and complicates this process, though. It distorts market signals that might otherwise encourage new investment in new industries, and discourages workers from seeking opportunities these investments provide.
The same concepts hold for government intervention in agricultural markets. Cutting farm subsidies and agricultural trade barriers would save U.S. taxpayers and consumers tens of billions of dollars during the next decade, would yield environmental benefits by reducing over-production, and stimulate innovation and productivity on farms.