This article examines the effects of recent trade sanctions imposed in Russia to demonstrate the benefit free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership will have for consumers and the economy in the U.S. The Federal Reserve’s recent decision to forestall interest rate increases should give Congress the impetus to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership on behalf of the U.S. economy. This clear sign by the Fed that U.S. economic growth continues to underimpress should have our representatives in Washington looking for ways to spur consumer activity. Free trade agreements do just that.
It is perhaps odd that Russia provides a timely demonstration of the consumer benefits of free trade. Russian cheese producers received a windfall, to the detriment of consumers, when the government there banned the import of European cheese. This Russian microeconomy validates the consumer benefits of a substantial new free trade agreement covering 40 percent of U.S. imports.