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  • Special Report posted November 6, 2014 by Bryan Riley, Ambassador Terry Miller Why Trade Matters and How to Unleash It: Trade Rankings from the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom

    Contributors Bryan Riley is Jay Van Andel Senior Analyst in Trade Policy in the Center for Trade and Economics, of the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, at The Heritage Foundation. Ambassador Terry Miller is Director of the Center for Trade and Economics and the Center for Data Analysis, of the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, and Mark A.…

  • Backgrounder posted September 17, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Luke Coffey, Bryan Riley The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Economic Benefits and Potential Risks

    In February 2013, President Barack Obama called for a free trade agreement between the United States and the European Union during his State of the Union address. This proposed agreement is now known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The President’s announcement has been taken by politicians and commentators on both sides of the Atlantic as an…

  • Backgrounder posted September 12, 2014 by Bryan Riley Foreign Export Credit Subsidies: Kill Them, Don’t Copy Them

    Many supporters of the U.S. Export–Import Bank (Ex–Im Bank) assert that the bank serves a legitimate purpose as a response to export subsidies provided by foreign governments. For example, according to National Association of Manufacturers President and Chief Executive Officer Jay Timmons, The size and scope of the Ex–Im Bank pales in comparison to the official export…

  • Backgrounder posted June 5, 2014 by Bryan Riley U.S. Trade Policy Gouges American Sugar Consumers

    On March 28, 2014, attorneys for U.S. sugar growers charged Mexican sugar growers with “dumping” sugar in the United States at unfair prices. Although the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) eliminated tariffs between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, a loophole allows domestic producers to request anti-dumping duties to protect them from international…

  • Issue Brief posted June 5, 2014 by Bryan Riley, Donghun Yu The Truth about NAFTA: Lessons for Trade Negotiations

    In 1993, critics of the proposed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) made dire predictions about what would happen if Congress approved it. However, wiser heads prevailed, and NAFTA took effect on January 1, 1994. Today, the same misguided arguments are being used in connection with new free trade agreements such as the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)…

  • Issue Brief posted May 23, 2014 by Bryan Riley, Brett D. Schaefer Congress Should Reject Proposed Food Aid Shipping Mandate

    The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 (H.R. 4005) on April 1. Largely unnoticed, H.R. 4005 would reverse reforms adopted in the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012 and the Agriculture Act of 2014 and increase the amount of U.S. food assistance required to be shipped on U.S. vessels from 50 percent to 75…

  • Backgrounder posted May 22, 2014 by Brian Slattery, Bryan Riley, Nicolas Loris Sink the Jones Act: Restoring America’s Competitive Advantage in Maritime-Related Industries

    The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, more commonly referred to as the Jones Act, is a protectionist measure that regulates domestic U.S. shipping practices. The Jones Act mandates that any goods shipped by water between two points in the United States must be transported on a U.S.-built, U.S.-flagged, and at least 75 percent U.S.-crewed vessel. Originally conceived to sustain…

  • Commentary posted May 21, 2014 by Bryan Riley, Brett D. Schaefer Time to Privatize OPIC

    What do Enron, the Soros Economic Development Fund, Papa John’s Pizza, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, MTV, the Bank of Palestine, and Deutsche Bank have in common? They’ve all benefited from millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). OPIC provides loans and loan guarantees for investments in developing and emerging…

  • Issue Brief posted May 19, 2014 by Bryan Riley, Brett D. Schaefer Time to Privatize OPIC

    The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) provides political risk insurance, loan guarantees, and direct loans to U.S. and foreign companies to encourage investment in developing and emerging economies. OPIC artificially lowers the cost of such investments by having the U.S. taxpayer assume a portion of the risk of the venture—a classic case of socializing risk…

  • Issue Brief posted January 28, 2014 by Bryan Riley Trade Promotion Authority and Economic Freedom

    Earlier this year, legislation was introduced to give President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that would put new trade agreements on the fast track to congressional consideration.[1] Under TPA, the President could negotiate agreements with other countries that would then be submitted to Congress for an up-or-down vote with no amendments. Many who have commented…

  • Issue Brief posted December 5, 2013 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Rea S. Hederman, Jr., Bryan Riley, Luke Coffey Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Pitfalls and Promises

    The United States and the European Union (EU) have begun the negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which could greatly reduce or eliminate both tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade between the U.S. and the EU, a trade relationship that accounts for about 30 percent of world trade. The promotion of economic freedom is a vital part of…

  • Special Report posted October 23, 2013 by Bryan Riley, Ambassador Terry Miller Congress Should Get Smart and Cut Tariffs to Boost Trade Freedom

    The latest rankings of trade freedom around the world,[1] developed by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal in the forthcoming 2014 Index of Economic Freedom,[2] once again demonstrate how citizens of countries that embrace free trade are better off than those in countries that do not. Data continue to show a strong correlation between trade freedom and a…

  • Commentary posted July 9, 2013 by Bryan Riley Egyptians Need More Than a Change of Presidents

    Egypt has a new president. But as the people of Egypt have already learned, a new president does not necessarily mean better policies. For decades, Egypt’s political leaders have denied their people economic freedom—and it has cost the citizens dearly. According to the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom economic freedom in Egypt is below par—both globally and even within the…

  • Backgrounder posted June 17, 2013 by Jessica Zuckerman, Bryan Riley, David Inserra Beyond the Border: U.S. and Canada Expand Partnership in Trade and Security

    In December 2011, President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper released the Beyond the Border Action Plan. The plan—part of the Beyond the Border strategy announced earlier that year—offers a cooperative strategy and joint vision intended to boost security and facilitate the flow of goods and people between the two nations. With the economies,…

  • Backgrounder posted April 29, 2013 by Bryan Riley Tariff Reform Needed to Boost the U.S. Economy

    Congress routinely engages in targeted, short-term tariff cuts through “miscellaneous tariff bills.” Although conventional wisdom says that unilateral tariff cuts are politically impossible, these bills show that it is possible to reduce tariffs given the right political environment. Proponents of such tariff cuts argue that the cuts support U.S. jobs; critics argue that…