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Free Trade Doesn't Work

What Should Replace It and Why

Read the book that anticipated the end of free trade under Trump and Biden!


We've been told for years that free trade is good for America. This book explains, in terms the average concerned citizen can understand, why it isn't. No nation, including the U.S., ever got rich practicing free trade and cutting-edge economics increasingly understands why. These insights will reshape policy in the years to come. Nonpartisan and suitable for both liberals and conservatives.

Part I:

The Problem

  • Why We Can't Trust the Economists 

  • Deficits, Time Horizons, and Perverse Efficiency

  • Trade solutions that Won't Work

  • Critiques of Free Trade to Avoid

Part II:

The Real Economics of Free Trade

  • Ye Olde Theory of Comparative Advantage

  •  The Deliberately Forgotten History of Trade

  • The Disingenuous Law and Diplomacy of Free Trade

Part III:

The Solution

  • Where Does Growth Really Come From?

  • The Multiple Equilibrium Revolution

  • The Natural Strategic Tariff

  • The End of the Free Trade Coalition


"Fletcher has written a powerful and refreshing critique of some cherished assumptions held by mainstream economists.  It is uniformly insightful, often brilliant, and remarkably readable." 

Prof. George C. Lodge 

Professor Emeritus, Harvard Business School

About the Author


Economist Ian Fletcher is one of America's foremost experts on the problems of free trade. Ian was Senior Economist for the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) from 2010-2012 and is currently a senior advisory board member. CPA is a nationwide grass-roots organization dedicated to fixing America’s trade policies and comprising representatives from business, agriculture, and labor. Prior to his tenure at CPA Ian was a Research Fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council and an economist in private practice serving hedge funds and private equity firms. Ian regularly participates in economic forums, discussions and debates. Currently he is working on a new book on industrial policy, expected publication in 2022.


Educated at Columbia and the University of Chicago, he lives in San Francisco.

In the Media

San Francisco Chronicle
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