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  • Backgrounder posted December 21, 2015 by Bryan Riley, Ambassador Terry Miller 2016 Index of Economic Freedom: Yet More Evidence of Free Trade’s Benefits

    The latest rankings of trade freedom around the world,[1] included by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal in the forthcoming 2016 Index of Economic Freedom, confirm that citizens of countries that embrace free trade are better off than those in countries that do not. The data continue to show a strong correlation between trade freedom and a variety of…

  • Special Report posted December 9, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., Dean Cheng, Luke Coffey, Lisa Curtis, Helle C. Dale, Michaela Dodge, David Inserra, Bruce Klingner, Daniel Kochis, Ryan Olson, James Phillips, Ana Quintana, Bryan Riley, Brian Slattery, William T. Wilson, Ph.D. U.S. Comprehensive Strategy Toward Russia

    Introduction Since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has not had a coherent, comprehensive strategy toward Russia. As the Russian invasion of Ukraine demonstrates, the U.S. has paid a price for this failure and, of course, many of Russia’s neighbors have paid far higher prices. At the core of the U.S. failure has been an unwillingness to assess the nature of the Russian…

  • Issue Brief posted November 13, 2015 by Bryan Riley, Ambassador Terry Miller The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Questions that Congress Must Answer

    On November 5, text of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement between the United States and 11 other countries was made public.[1] That text, including tariff-cut schedules and annexes, is thousands of pages long. The agreement took seven years to negotiate, and it will take time to provide a comprehensive analysis of its potential impact. The most…

  • Commentary posted November 10, 2015 by Bryan Riley, Anthony B. Kim In Praise of Imports

    Last week the Obama administration released the text of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership — a trade pact between the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim countries. Advocates of such deals traditionally focus on the benefits of opening new markets to U.S. exports. But good trade agreements also reduce self-destructive U.S. trade barriers. Politicians often…

  • Backgrounder posted October 20, 2015 by Bryan Riley, Anthony B. Kim Freedom to Trade: A Guide for Policymakers

    Freedom to trade—the freedom to exchange goods and services openly with others—is as fundamental to human well-being as any right guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. Indeed, the freedom to trade is the foundation of America’s modern economic system that provides historically unprecedented opportunities for individuals to achieve greater economic freedom and…

  • Commentary posted February 27, 2015 by Bryan Riley Free trade is a winner in recent elections

    In Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts and North Carolina, the midterm elections proved that candidates shouldn't be afraid to talk about the benefits of trade. They also demonstrated that candidates tempted to employ protectionist scare tactics in their campaigns should think twice. In Iowa, Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst's campaign argued: "Congressman [Bruce]…

  • Special Report posted February 4, 2015 by Bryan Riley Trade and Prosperity in the States: The Case of Florida

    Hundreds of thousands of Floridians owe their jobs to international trade and investment. The benefits of international commerce are reflected in the voting record of the state’s congressional delegation, which overwhelmingly supported free trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea in 2011. However, the state’s elected representatives have not always…

  • Issue Brief posted January 23, 2015 by Bryan Riley Needed: A Congressional Mandate for Economic Freedom

    Congress will soon consider giving trade promotion authority (TPA) to the executive branch for several years, starting with hearings by the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees on January 27. TPA establishes expedited congressional procedures for handling trade agreements negotiated under its directives. Some legislators who might otherwise be inclined to…

  • 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…