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  • Commentary posted April 8, 2015 by James M. Roberts IMF Reformers Hold Congress in Contempt

    What's the appropriate role of the International Monetary Fund? It's a question that goes all the way back to the Bretton Woods conference of 1944, during which the IMF was created. The liberal/progressive view from Europe, pushed by John Maynard Keynes and others, envisioned the IMF as a sort of global Treasury Department/Federal Reserve Bank. IMF member countries could…

  • Issue Brief posted February 20, 2015 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., James M. Roberts, Riddhi Dasgupta, PhD Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Mechanisms: An Important Feature of High-Quality Trade Agreements

    One of the most important—albeit controversial—components of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade agreement between the United States and the European Union (EU) is the provision creating an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism. The French Senate has unanimously called for the removal of this provision both from the TTIP…

  • Commentary posted February 5, 2015 by James M. Roberts Cronyism Kills: Here’s How It Happened in Tunisia

    On December 17, 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor, turned to face the governor’s mansion in Sidi Bouzid—the capital of a hardscrabble farming province in central Tunisia—and set himself on fire. His last words, aimed at the government, were an anguished question: “How do you expect me to make a living?” What drove Bouazizi to this desperate act was Tunisia’s…

  • Backgrounder posted November 20, 2014 by James M. Roberts The IMF’s Analysis of the U.S. Economy: Faulty Assumptions and Bad Policy Advice

    The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) 66-page report on its 2014 consultation with the U.S., pursuant to Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, repeats a number of long-standing, orthodox, and desirable policy recommendations that urge the U.S. to confront its many long-term fiscal and monetary challenges. This year’s report also contains an unprecedented…

  • Commentary posted November 18, 2014 by James M. Roberts Australia Can Lead the G20 Back to Economic Freedom

    President Obama and other G20 leaders should listen carefully this weekend (Nov. 15-16) in Brisbane, because Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has a powerful story to tell them about economic revival. Abbott hopes to focus the gathered heads of state— representing some 80 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product—on how to boost economic growth because, as he…

  • Backgrounder posted November 12, 2014 by James M. Roberts, William Tucker Additional Reforms Can Boost Mexico’s Hydrocarbons Industry

    Economic freedom is key to addressing Mexico’s economic, security, and civil society concerns. Since President Enrique Peña Nieto began his single six-year term in December 2012, progress has been made in challenging the private and public monopolies and duopolies (and their labor unions) that have historically dominated and hampered huge portions of Mexico’s economy.…

  • Backgrounder posted October 1, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves, James M. Roberts Why the U.S. Should Oppose the Creation of an International Anti-Corruption Court

    The idea that “grand corruption” by world leaders and powerful individuals able to shield themselves from domestic accountability should be considered a crime against humanity has percolated for years among anti-corruption advocates and international law experts. As these advocates argue, the destructive impact of grand corruption, which they argue contributes to extreme…

  • Commentary posted May 20, 2014 by James M. Roberts Free Markets, Limited Government Keys To Prosperity

    For the last 20 years, the Index of Economic Freedom has evaluated the state of economic freedom in virtually every nation, documenting the critical link between economic opportunity and prosperity. It shows how free-market, limited-government, rules-based capitalism helps people at every level of society to prosper. This month the Heritage Foundation launched the third…

  • Issue Brief posted May 16, 2014 by James M. Roberts The Pacific Alliance: A Latin American Role Model for the United States

    This Issue Brief is also available in Spanish at Libertad.org. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the old 20th-century debate about whether to engage with the global capitalist system is long over, replaced by a virtual consensus about the importance of trade and international investment. A new cleavage has emerged, however, over how to engage the rising economies of…

  • Special Report posted May 2, 2014 by The Heritage Foundation Economic Freedom Task Force , James M. Roberts 2014 Global Agenda for Economic Freedom

    Contributors Luke Coffey is Margaret Thatcher Fellow in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation. Ariel Cohen, PhD, is Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy at The Heritage Foundation. Charlotte M. Florance is a…

  • Issue Brief posted April 9, 2014 by James M. Roberts, Edwar Enrique Escalante Peru: President Humala Should Push for More Economic Freedom

    This Issue Brief is also available in Spanish at Libertad.org When Peruvian president Ollanta Humala took office three years ago, some feared the worst. After all, during his first presidential run in 2006, Humala (a former Peruvian army officer) had donned the fire-breathing mantle of the populist, “Bolivarian” left that was personified by Venezuela’s then-president (and…

  • Issue Brief posted March 7, 2014 by James M. Roberts Aid to Ukraine Should Not Be Held Hostage by IMF Politics

    The Obama Administration is insisting that before Congress can support courageous, Westward-looking Ukrainians, it must first reduce the power of the United States at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).[1] The White House wants Congress to attach its approval of an IMF governance “reform package” that has been pending for three years to any legislation providing…

  • Commentary posted February 19, 2014 by James M. Roberts As Putin eyes Ukraine, Obama must not blink

    Last week, I visited Kiev’s Maidan — “Independence” square. It had something of a street festival feel, but there was also the sense that violence would soon strike. Barricades of old tires and garbage bags filled with snow protected the ramshackle booths and tent cities erected by pro-democracy groups from around Ukraine. Oil-drum fires helped beat back the brutal cold,…

  • Commentary posted January 31, 2014 by James M. Roberts Foreign Aid: Breaking the Cycle of Dependency

    Why do some nations that receive U.S. foreign aid year after year never seem to improve, or move beyond the dependency phase? Perhaps the largest reason is corruption. It’s the “pre-existing condition” that keeps many aid recipients from ever recovering. It’s a major obstacle to economic growth, which is why any U.S. development assistance program that does not make…

  • Issue Brief posted January 15, 2014 by Ana Quintana, James M. Roberts Latin America and the Caribbean: Congressional Priorities for 2014

    In 2013, the Obama Administration seemed to take for granted U.S. relationships with our many friendly neighbors in Latin America and the Caribbean—nations that share our democratic and economic values—while ignoring growing threats to our national security from some countries in the region that are openly hostile to America’s core principles. In 2014, Congress should…