Free Trade

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Reviewed Websites, Primary Sources, Lessons & Activities
Duration: 90 minutes
Date Posted: 10/12/2016

This historical investigation is aligned with the C3 Framework and is from

Nobel Prize–winning economist Milton Friedman once said, “There is a standard cliché which I am sure you have all heard, that if you have two economists in one room, you are bound to have at least three opinions.” Drawing on disciplinary experts who disagree on a fundamental free-market economic tenet, this inquiry asks students to investigate the dispute over free trade. By considering the arguments of professional economists who may use the same data but come to very different conclusions, students examine the “price” of free trade as it relates to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In understanding the arguments for and against free-trade policy in general and applying such concepts to existing policy more specifically, students can gain clarity about this age-old debate and become participants in a contemporary discussion involving international trade.

National Standards

United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)

Historical Thinking Standards (Grades 5-12)

Common Core State Standards (Grades 9-10)

Common Core State Standards (Grades 11-12)

College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards (Grades 9-12)