The removal of trade barriers would, it was always argued, increase growth and so employment and well-being. This was a core idea at the heart of the Washington Consensus, that delivered neoliberalism around the globe.
The problem was, as has now been realised, that even if tariff free trade did deliver growth (and that was open to question in some cases) it was also apparent that the benefits were not equally shared. Data in the disparities of income growth in society over the last thirty or more years are now well known: most benefits have gone to a few. This leaves obvious questions for many on the benefits of growth.
These decades of neoliberalism and global trade have been the most pro-poor eonomic movement ever, the cause of the largest decline in absolute poverty in the history of our species.
This leaves a question on the benefits of growth?