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  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted April 16, 2013 by Bryan Riley, Anthony B. Kim Advancing Trade Freedom: Key Objective of Trade Promotion Authority Renewal

    Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) has been a critical tool for advancing free trade and spreading its benefits to a greater number of Americans. TPA, also known as “fast track” authority, is the legislative power Congress grants to the President to negotiate reciprocal trade agreements. Provided the President observes certain statutory obligations under TPA, Congress agrees…

  • Issue Brief posted April 15, 2013 by Bryan Riley, Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Food Aid Should Focus on Combating Hunger and Malnutrition in Poor Nations

    President Barack Obama’s fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget proposes fundamental reforms to America’s food assistance programs. Most notably, the proposal would shift funds from the Food for Peace Act (P.L. 480) to programs in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In general, these reforms are positive and echo proposals suggested by aid practitioners in…

  • Special Report posted February 5, 2013 by Bryan Riley Trade and Prosperity in the 50 States: The Case of South Carolina

    Economist Walter Williams once described the primary challenge facing free-traders: It is unreasonable to expect even principled politicians to vote for good economic policies if those votes amount to political suicide.[1] Opponents of increased trade have often convinced politicians that votes for free trade are career killers. But even in states where opposition to free…

  • Heritage in Focus: the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom Audio Recorded on January 18, 2013 Heritage in Focus: the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom

    Policy Analyst and contributor to The Heritage Foundation's annual Index of Economic Freedom Bryan Riley discusses what the Index of Economic Freedom is, how the United States stacks up, and what this means for our economy on this week's episode of Heritage in Focus. Jackie Anderson hosts. To get regular updates on Heritage in Focus podcasts, visit our RSS feed or…

  • Issue Brief posted December 5, 2012 by Bryan Riley Abolish the Costly Sugar Program to Lower Sugar Prices

    Lobbyists for sugar growers—already forced to rely on shady arguments to persuade Congress to keep giving handouts to their clients—are facing a new P.R. problem: Twinkie production may be moving to Mexico. Hostess, the maker of Twinkies, has blamed union troubles for its bankruptcy, but other experts have pointed to U.S. government-inflated sugar prices as a possible…

  • Special Report posted October 25, 2012 by Bryan Riley, Ambassador Terry Miller 2013 Index of Economic Freedom: No Boost in Trade Freedom

    Abstract: The Heritage Foundation has been tracking and ranking trade freedom around the world since 1995. The rankings have consistently shown a correlation between trade freedom and improved lives for people around the world—and vice versa. The latest rankings, in the forthcoming 2013 Index of Economic Freedom, once again confirm that connection. For that reason, it is…

  • Backgrounder posted May 14, 2012 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Bryan Riley After WTO Membership: Promoting Human Rights in Russia with the Magnitsky Act

    Abstract: Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) will put U.S. companies at a disadvantage with their global competitors unless Congress first exempts Russia from the application of the Jackson–Vanik Amendment, a tool from the 1970s designed to promote human rights that no longer advances that goal. Russia admittedly suffers from weak rule of law and…

  • Commentary posted May 14, 2012 by Bryan Riley Forward on Trade

    In your April 30 editorial “Good trade?” you wrote, “Free trade certainly has its benefits – export-related jobs are vital to North Carolina – [Yet] far too many folks here have seen their factory jobs pack up and move away to cheaper climes. And it’s not that our state is expensive or that our workers don’t earn their pay. It’s that the global trade system too often…

  • Issue Brief posted April 24, 2012 by Edward Gresser, Bryan Riley Give Shoe Taxes the Boot

    Liberals and conservatives have plenty to disagree about. But faced with continuing high levels of unemployment and slow economic growth, they should agree on a few things—and one is that Congress should find ways to help Americans at the bottom rung of the economic ladder. The Affordable Footwear Act (AFA) is one such effort. Introduced by Joe Crowley (D–NY) and Lynn…