If there was a way to give U.S. businesses new opportunities to sell their products – while simultaneously lowering the prices of goods and services in the United States – would you support that? Of course you would! And there’s an easy way to accomplish those ends…

Suggestion #27: Expand free trade.

One component of the President’s plan to grow the nation’s economy is export promotion – with a goal of doubling U.S. exports over the next five years. Obviously, the more markets that are open to American businesses, the better – so far, so good! But let’s remember that trade is a two-way street… so if we’re selling more goods, we need to be open to importing more goods too. The rub: Americans remain skeptical of “free trade” – polling reflects Americans’ concerns that they hurt the nation overall.

Sure, some imported goods will cost less than if they’re produced here. The upside? The prices of those goods will be cheaper – leaving consumers with more money in their pockets to spend on other goods and services, increasing their purchasing power. The downside, of course, is that there will be job losses as a result – but those workers, and those resources, have the opportunity to become part of new enterprises where profits can still be made. And let’s remember, industries rise and fall all the time – and living standards are higher as a result. Do you see many people mourning the loss of 35mm film because digital cameras were invented? Not really.

Congress should move to pass the free trade agreements on the table, and to dismantle existing barriers to trade across the board, such as tariffs, import quotas, and export restraints. Trade is voluntary, and benefits all parties involved. After all, if it didn’t, people wouldn’t engage in it!