David Ricardo’s explanation of the case for free trade rests on some basic economic principles, but also has a big public policy blind spot

One survey of professional economists in the United States found that 93% would agree with the claim that restrictions on free trade through tariffs and import quotas would reduce economic welfare.

Yet, I’m certain those advocating for free trade are often accused of having a blind spot. Is there something in the economic method, which can legitimately lay claim to being scientific, that also blinds its practitioners to what others see so clearly?

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