Davos WEF
Davos WEF

'Free trade is always better than no trade,' JPMorgan International Chairman Jacob Frenkel says

JPM's Frenkel: Trade benefits must be shared

Free trade is too good for the U.S. economy to be restrictive, and the Trump administration's rhetoric will grow softer once they realize its benefits, JPMorgan Chase International Chairman Jacob Frenkel told CNBC on Tuesday.

"Free trade is always better than no trade, and we need to ensure … that it is inclusive and the benefits are shared," the chairman told "Worldwide Exchange."

Frenkel said that those who are demonstrably against free trade misconstrue the issue, which in truth is less about trade and more about how to combat inevitable job losses stemming from problems outside of the global supply chain.

"If you ask people who are against free trade, they will never tell you that they are against the benefits from trade. They will tell you that they are against some of the negative consequences that some parts of society are suffering," Frenkel said.

"Well, if that's the case, then the focus of debate should not be about trade but rather how to alleviate the hardship that occasionally occurs," he continued.

Job retraining and trade-adjustment assistance were two fiscal solutions that came to mind for Frenkel, who insisted that trade policy was not the fix to problems that some in Washington pin on globalized trade.