Big cities benefit from free trade—so why are Democrats stalling it?

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by Nina Easton,

from Fortune Magazine,

America’s big cities have prospered under existing free-trade accords. They’ll do even better in a freer global marketplace.

You wouldn’t know it from the behavior of leading Washington Democrats, but guess who benefits most from free-trade pacts? Workers in unionized, Democratic strongholds: America’s big cities. Labor-backed protectionists insist that America’s factory towns were devastated by the North American Free Trade Agreement. Now, together with a contingent of Tea Party Republicans, they want to stop pending trade deals with Europe and Asia. But the numbers show that these same bastions of blue voters are thriving on exports—especially to NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada. Indeed, trade is what’s driving post-recession economic gains—and job growth—…

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