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“Free trade is good because it connects the world. The whole world is able to compete with itself, and as a result you raise your standards.” -- BHP Billiton CEO and Executive Director Andrew Mackenzie
Mackenzie, who heads a global resources company, was recently in D.C. as part of the CEO Leadership Series, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Institute for 21st Century Energy. He encouraged attendees to not fear global trade. Instead, we should embrace it so we can “a world where there are opportunities for all and scarcity for none with a better quality of life fairly shared now and in the future.”
He went on to explain the good free trade has done for Americans:
In total, trade liberalization has added $1.5 trillion to the U.S. economy, since the Second World War, and made the average American almost 10% better off, so today middle class Americans gain more than a quarter of their purchasing power from trade.
We had a chance to sit down with Mackenzie and talk about reducing barriers to imports and exports like the antiquated 40-year-old ban on U.S. oil exports. “I personally believe the oil export ban is a bit of an enigma--that it still exists when it was introduced as a result of an oil price shock in the 70s,” he said. Studies have shown that lifting the ban will spur billions of dollars in investment and create millions of jobs.
Watch the video.