Americans support trade in general but oppose the NAFTA model of trade that has offshored U.S. jobs, spurred massive deficits, stagnated middle-class wages and contributed to unprecedented levels of U.S. income inequality.
Brazil's is an unusually closed economy as measured by trade penetration, with exports plus imports equal to just 27.6 percent of GDP in 2013. Brazil's large size is often used to explain its relative lack of openness. But this argument does not stand up to scrutiny.
That trade system has not delivered the promised benefits because it was designed not to. The agreements traded away the interests of American workers in favor of the interests of American corporations.
Sometimes the world economy seems like a giant spider web: Touch one part and the vibrations are felt throughout the structure. So it is that slowing demand for steel in China could have an impact on U.S. savings accounts.