International trade in the eye of the storm

We have never lived better before.

Life expectancy has more than doubled since the 19th century and continues to grow. Children born today are more likely than ever to reach their fifth birthday alive. Primary school enrollment and adult literacy rates are at record highs. Accelerating growth in developing countries has lifted billions of people out of poverty: fewer than one in ten people live in extreme poverty today, up from more than 40% in 1980. Trade has been a key driver of growth and development experienced, especially in recent decades. Trade contributes to growth because it encourages increased specialization and scale, and these two elements lead to higher productivity. Trade increases purchasing power because it gives consumers access to cheaper imported goods and services, and, from the producers’ point of view, promotes greater competition, innovation and quality, while allowing access to more competitive inputs .