What Are the Economic Benefits of Trade, American Style (James Pethokoukis, 12/04/24, AEIdeas)

But can we put a number on all that good stuff? The Peterson Institute for International Economics gives it a try in a recent report and comes up with some encouraging data, along with a caveat:

US GDP in 2022 was $25.5 trillion. Without post-World War II engagement in the world economy, our estimates indicate that US GDP in 2022 would have been $22.9 trillion, some $2.6 trillion lower… The $2.6 trillion in gains in 2022 work out, on average, to about $7,800 per person and $19,500 per household. Average gains in 2022 would have been considerably larger but for political headwinds that have slowed trade expansion since the global financial crisis of 2008-09. Indeed, nearly all the gains — expressed as a percent of GDP — accrued before the global financial crisis, although gains expressed in dollar terms have continued to grow at a slow rate.