In his Friday editorial, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman attacked those on the left and right for criticizing the current set of free-trade policies without offering a solution that would accomplish the complementary political goals behind them.
"Global trade agreements from the 1940s to the 1980s were used to bind democratic nations together during the Cold War, [and] Nafta was used to reward and encourage Mexican reformers," he wrote.
If candidates want to "rag" on those deals, "like Mr. Trump or Mr. Sanders, [he] should be asked what, exactly, he proposes doing now." Such proposals cannot include simply ripping up America's international commitments, as that would destroy what little is left of the country's "credibility and standing in the world."
The United States can't afford to that for one simple reason, he argued,
climate change -- an all-important issue we can’t confront effectively unless all major nations participate in a joint effort, with last year’s Paris agreement just the beginning. How is that going to work if America shows itself to be a nation that reneges on its deals?