Trading Up: Win-Win Solutions to Raising Global Living Standards

In this policy paper, Dēmos and the World Policy Institute argue that the United States should play a bold new leadership role in creating a global economy that works for everyone. It should encourage faster economic growth, higher labor standards, and stronger social protections in developing nations while buffering Americans from the downsides of globalization and equipping U.S. workers to succeed in the global economy.

To achieve these goals, the next President and Congress should embrace a policy agenda that balances a commitment to markets and open trade with dramatic efforts to reduce inequities and insecurities in developed and developing nations alike. This agenda would seek to maximize what is best about the global economy—its enormous capacity to generate wealth and potential to generate economic opportunity from that wealth—and minimize what is worst: competition among nations to lower labor standards and reduce social protections to attract jobs and capital.

This report is the result of a collaborative effort by Dēmos and the World Policy Institute, with input from two projects housed at Dēmos, CivWorld and U.S. in the World. The report was written by David Callahan, Robert Kuttner, and Michele Wucker. Dēmos and the World Policy Institute wish to thank The Connect U.S. Fund for their generous support of the Project on Shared Global Prosperity.