For trade agreements this suggests that (potential) effects on jobs and also on
income distribution are likely to play a bigger role when considering accords or
Having said that, the potential job effects can be hard to pinpoint.
Distributional consequences and concerns about job losses need to be
addressed. But this also means walking a tightrope to avoid a policy discussion
(too) focused on the status quo and with little value attached to (potential)
dynamic gains from trade.
The distributional concerns also require policy
responses beyond trade, including for instance investment in education, labour
market and competition policies. Clearly, part of these measures do not provide
“quick fixes” for current problems.