Various trade agreements have created export opportunities for U.S. companies, and raised profits, employment, and wages in industries that serve expanding global markets. Meanwhile, WTO membership exerts influence on the U.S. government to keep our own market open to the global economy. American families benefit from this openness through access to a wider range of affordable goods and services, raising the real value of our paychecks. The competition from abroad spurs domestic producers to keep prices down, develop new and better products, and adopt more efficient production. The ability to import raw materials, capital equipment, and intermediate inputs, such as competitively priced steel and semiconductors, lowers the cost of production for U.S. producers and keeps them competitive in global markets.

More on Trade Agreements and the WTO


What If ISDS Lawsuits Were Used to Fight Climate Change?

By Simon Lester. Huffington Post. October 3, 2016.

Import-bashing Candidates Miss Value of Globalization

By K. William Watson. DC Examiner. September 30, 2016.

Econ 101 for Presidential Candidates

By Daniel R. Pearson. The Detroit News. September 29, 2016.

Cato Studies

Should Free Traders Support the Trans- Pacific Partnership? An Assessment of America’s Largest Preferential Trade Agreement

By Daniel J. Ikenson, Simon Lester, Scott Lincicome, Daniel R. Pearson, & K. William Watson. Working Paper No. 39. September 12, 2016.

Is the Doha Round Over? The WTO’s Negotiating Agenda for 2016 and Beyond

By Simon Lester. Free Trade Bulletin No. 64. February 11, 2016.

How Not to Use the International Trade Commission’s Economic Analysis of Trade Agreements

By Daniel R. Pearson. Free Trade Bulletin No. 63. December 16, 2015.


Six Degrees of Integration: How Closely Will the TTIP Integrate the Transatlantic Market?

Simon Lester. European Yearbook of International Economic Law. Vol. 7. July 17, 2016.

The TPP’s Contribution to Public International Law

Simon Lester. ASIL Insights. Vol. 19. No. 26. December 2, 2015.

Privateers! Their History and Future

Alexander Tabarrok and Alex Nowrasteh. Fletcher Security Review. Vol. 2. No. 1. January 28, 2015.

Public Filings

Trade Promotion Agencies and U.S. Foreign Policy

By Daniel J. Ikenson. Testimony. May 19, 2015.

The Pilot Program on NAFTA Long-Haul Trucking Provisions

By Daniel Griswold. Testimony. May 4, 2011.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Is the TPP Free Trade?

Policy Report. September/October 2016.

Protectionism by Any Other Name

Pierre Lemieux. Regulation. Fall 2014.


Fall Fables & Fallacies: The Truth about Free Trade

Featuring Daniel J. Ikenson. October 27, 2016. Capitol Hill Briefing.

Policy Perspectives of the Presidential Candidates: Trade

Featuring Daniel J. Ikenson and Caleb O. Brown. July 15, 2016. Sponsor E-Briefing.

Should Free Traders Support the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

Featuring Daniel J. Ikenson, Daniel R. Pearson, Simon Lester, & K. William Watson. June 30, 2016. Policy Forum.