#2022WCA: Senator Benjamin Sasse on Trade as a Strategic Imperative

The senator highlighted the importance of a consensus on the power of trade, especially as a force to compete with U.S. adversaries.


  • Benjamin Sasse, U.S. Senator, Nebraska
  • Eric Farnsworth, Vice President, Council of the Americas

"Trade is a key part of our security architecture and arsenal," said Benjamin Sasse, U.S. Senator for Nebraska, at the 52nd Annual Washington Conference on the Americas. Calling hemispheric trade "a really important diplomatic, political, and military leavening, the senator spoke on the need to expand regional commerce, especially in the face of Russia and China's economic expansion.

Senator Sasse explained that trade becomes a "scapegoat" when people lose trust in institutions. He noted that this is happening in the United States where citizens are projecting anger about lost jobs on globalization. To generate a "broad American consensus about the benefits of trade again," Sasse said two big domestic problems must be solved: the polarized social media environment and the declining nature of lifelong work.