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  • Issue Brief posted May 17, 2016 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., James M. Roberts, Riddhi Dasgupta, PhD Straight Talk on the ISDS Provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an investment and trade agreement signed last February between the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations, contains enforcement provisions, including an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism, for resolving potential investment disputes related to the agreement. Today, the ISDS system is used widely around the globe to help…

  • Issue Brief posted April 7, 2016 by James M. Roberts, Diego Sánchez de la Cruz How to Remove Remaining Barriers to Economic Freedom in Spain

    After two decades of robust growth,[1] the 2008 financial crisis hit Spain hard. It exposed systemic institutional weaknesses and structural distortions in the economy that had not been addressed during the process of Spain’s incorporation into the European Union (EU). As in the United States and other countries, a credit boom in the early 2000s fuelled a real estate…

  • Special Report posted March 17, 2016 by James M. Roberts, George A. Margulies How Economic Freedom Can Be Restored in Argentina

    Argentina’s economic freedom score in the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom—43.8 out of 100, its lowest score ever—placed it in 169th place of 178 countries measured.[1] Argentina also ranks near the bottom (27th) of the 29 countries in the South and Central America/Caribbean region. That is a stunning decline from its highest score of 74.7, which was recorded in the second…

  • Issue Brief posted February 18, 2016 by Olivia Enos, James M. Roberts To Reduce Human Trafficking, Fight Corruption and Improve Economic Freedom

    January was National Slavery and Human Trafficking Awareness month, a time set aside to reflect on the way forward in global efforts to combat trafficking in persons, and this month the 22nd annual edition of The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom was published. It is an opportune moment to highlight one of the best ways to eliminate the pernicious scourge of…

  • Issue Brief posted December 4, 2015 by James M. Roberts Nine Steps President Macri Can Take to Restore Economic Freedom in Argentina

    In a decisive 51–49 victory on November 22 the voters of Argentina elected conservative “Cambiemos” (“Let’s Change”) coalition party candidate and current mayor of Buenos Aires Mauricio Macri as the country’s new president. He will take office on December 10. Under his left-wing populist predecessors, Peronists Néstor Kirchner (2003–2007) and Cristina Fernández de…

  • Issue Brief posted November 13, 2015 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., James M. Roberts, Riddhi Dasgupta, PhD The U.S. Should Reject the European Commission’s Proposed Investment Court

    The proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union, if negotiated successfully, will certainly contain a mechanism for resolving disputes related to the treaty. The current model for Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) panels is widely used, but also wrongly controversial, particularly in Europe. The…

  • Special Report posted August 26, 2015 by James M. Roberts, William T. Wilson, Ph.D. 2015 Global Agenda for Economic Freedom

    Introduction The Index of Economic Freedom, published annually by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, is entering its third decade with the publication of the 21st edition. Since the first edition the world has witnessed profound advances in the cause of freedom. Open economies have led the world in a startling burst of innovation and economic growth,…

  • Issue Brief posted July 15, 2015 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., James M. Roberts, Riddhi Dasgupta, PhD The Proposed Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Mechanism: U.S. Should Oppose EU Demand to Abandon It

    Revised One of the most important components of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union is the establishment of a mechanism for investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). An appropriately structured ISDS is an essential part of trade agreement enforcement and should be included in any comprehensive…

  • Commentary posted July 6, 2015 by James M. Roberts Greece: The First Developed Country in History to Default to the IMF

    Its failure to make a $1.73 billion payment to the International Monetary Fund by June 30 makes Greece the first developed country in history to default to the IMF.  It could also mark the beginning of the end for the European Union as the world has known it. Brinkmanship by Greece’s hard-left Syriza government—rejecting its creditors’ demands to cut public sector wages,…

  • Issue Brief posted July 1, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D., James M. Roberts, Mike Gonzalez, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Puerto Rico Needs Economic Freedom, Not Bailouts

    Puerto Rico is in a debt crisis, and Governor Alejandro García Padilla (D) has announced that “the debt is not payable” given the commonwealth’s large deficits and collapsing economy.[1] Presenting a government-commissioned report, economist Anne Krueger explained that the origin of Puerto Rico’s debt is decades of stimulus spending and economic stagnation: Since 1996,…

  • Special Report posted June 30, 2015 by James M. Roberts, Huma Sattar Pakistan’s Economic Disarray and How to Fix It

    In the decades since its creation by the British in 1947, Pakistan has been ruled more often than not by authoritarian martial-law regimes, interspersed with episodic attempts to establish genuine democracy. The two most famous democratically elected prime ministers in the country’s short history are the late Benazir Bhutto of the center-left Pakistan Peoples Party, who…

  • Commentary posted May 7, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer, Helle C. Dale, James M. Roberts Hot Air and Spurned Allies: A Tally of Obama's Foreign Failures

    The 2015 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) was released last week to predictable fanfare. Secretary of State John Kerry declared it to be "the blueprint for the next generation of American diplomacy." In truth, the report falls far short of that goal.     The QDDR starts with proper caution. Secretary Kerry writes:   A very smart Foreign Service…

  • 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…