An overwhelming number of people internationally, both in developed and developing countries, support trade with other countries, but are more divided on whether they think trade creates jobs, raises wages and lowers prices.  The media belief in advanced economies is that trade increases wages, 31 percent of people think they do, compared to 27 percent who think they do. In emerging countries, 47 per cent of people think that trade increases wages, compared to 20 per cent who say it lowers wages. There is a positive correlation of 0.66 between the average GDP growth rate for the years 2014 to 2017 and the percentage of people in a given country who say that trade increases wages.  Most people, both in industrialized and emerging countries, believe that trade increases prices. 35 per cent of people in developed countries and 56 per cent in emerging countries think that trade increases prices, and 29 per cent and 18 per cent think that trade lowers prices. Those with a higher level of education are more likely to believe that trade drives down prices.  This has three major effects on social welfare. Consumers are less well off due to the decline in consumer surplus (green region). Producers are doing better because the surplus of production (yellow region) is increasing. The government also has additional tax revenues (blue region). However, the loss to consumers is greater than that of producers and government.
The extent of this social loss is reflected in the two pink triangles. The abolition of tariffs and free trade would be a net benefit to society.   Many anti-globalist groups oppose free trade, based on their assertion that free trade agreements do not generally increase the economic freedom of the poor or working class and often impoverish them. Some opponents of free trade support free trade theory, but oppose free trade agreements as applied. Some opponents of NAFTA see the agreement as a significant prejudice to the people in the public domain, but some arguments are in fact opposed to the specifics of state-run trade and not to free trade itself. For example, it is argued that it would be wrong to leave subsidized U.S. corn in Mexico under NAFTA at prices well below production costs (dumping), as they have a ruinous effect on Mexican farmers. Indeed, such subsidies run counter to the theory of free trade, so that this argument does not run counter to the principle of free trade, but to its selective implementation. [Citation required] However, it is unlikely that trade in financial markets is completely free in this day and age. There are many supranational regulatory bodies for global financial markets, including the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the International Organization of the Financial Markets Authority (IOSCO) and the Committee on Capital Movements and Invisible Transactions.
In the first two decades of the agreement, regional trade increased from about $290 billion in 1993 to more than $1 trillion in 2016. Critics disagree on the net impact on the U.S. economy, but some estimates show the net loss of domestic jobs due to the agreement at 15,000 per year. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa (in office from 2007 to 2017) denounced the “Sophistry of Free Trade” in an introduction he wrote for a book published in 2006. “The hidden face of free trade agreements, written in part by Correa`s energy minister, Alberto Acosta.