Given the following factors:
1. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the statistical measure for the size of the national economy.
2. The formula for calculating GDP is C+I+G+(x-m).
3. In the most recent BEA report, current dollar GDP was 15,010 billion. Exports (x) were 2,020 billion and imports (m) were 2,591 billion.
4. In Q1-11, international trade reduced the size of the US economy by $571 billion. Without any international trade at all, GDP in Q1-11 would have been 15,581 billion, representing a healthy rate of 4.8 percent annual growth from the 14,871 billion of the previous quarter instead of the 0.9 percent reported.
This is the challenge: justify the continuation of international free trade utilizing reason, logic, and conventional macroeconomic theory in light of these figures. This means no resorting to Austrian-based skepticism concerning the validity of economic statistics or ideological objections to government intervention. For the purposes of this exercise, we are assuming that the Samuelsonian metrics are valid, relevant, and a legitimate foundation for national policy.