Ferguson on free trade: What do economists know?

In a speech on 'Free Trade: What Do Economists Really Know?' given on 7 October, Roger Ferguson of the Federal Reserve said he sees the current account deficit as a risk if it ends in a wrenching adjustment that strains Americans and spills over to other countries.

Ferguson cautioned against protectionist measures to counter the U.S. trade shortfall, noting that would be exactly the wrong prescription for long-term growth.

"We cannot foresee when the deficit will stop growing and return to more

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