The relatively wide agreement in the international trade area tends to focus on four main hypotheses that are supported by a body of research and evidence:
First, free and fair trade is in the interest of most people in most countries, but it is not sufficient for inclusive prosperity. Specific segments of society can be displaced, marginalized, and alienated. As such, trade is not just an economic issue. It also entails important institutional, political, and social dimensions.
Second, trade is inherently underpinned by a mutually beneficial set of voluntary interactions that are best conducted, to use the language of game theory, as a cooperative game.Third, an accumulation of legitimate grievances undermines both the ideal and reality of free and fair trade. These grievances relate mostly to what economists call non-tariff barriers, including issues such as intellectual property theft, the weaponization of economic and development tools, forced technology transfer, insufficiently effective and credible multilateral institutions, and a less-than-stable global economic and financial order.