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  • Issue Brief posted July 24, 2015 by Joshua Meservey, Anthony B. Kim The President’s Last Trip to Africa: Focus on Promoting Economic Freedom and the Rule of Law

    On July 24, President Barack Obama will travel to Kenya before continuing on to Ethiopia. President Obama’s final trip to Africa is intended to underscore the Administration’s efforts “to work with the countries and citizens of sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate economic growth, strengthen democratic institutions, and improve security.”[1] In fact, these ideas are not new.…

  • Issue Brief posted May 11, 2015 by Ryan Olson, Anthony B. Kim Congress Should Recognize the Dynamic Benefits of Imports

    Advocates of free trade agreements often assert that trade is beneficial because it gives American businesses better access to the world’s consumers, 95 percent of whom live outside the United States. While this claim is a fact, the argument centers on the regrettable fixation over the benefits of exports. This mercantilist view often discounts or even completely ignores…

  • Issue Brief posted February 26, 2015 by Anthony B. Kim, Charlotte Florance, Brett D. Schaefer Time to Renew and Enhance the African Growth and Opportunity Act

    The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is at a critical juncture for America’s economic engagement with Africa. The current AGOA is set to expire on September 30, 2015. Although both Congress and the Obama Administration have repeatedly expressed their intention for a “seamless” renewal, they need to act quickly and decisively to ensure that uncertainty does not…

  • Commentary posted September 10, 2014 by Anthony B. Kim, Brett D. Schaefer Why are we aiding countries that oppose U.S. priorities at the United Nations?

    Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick was frustrated. Countries happily took American foreign aid, but then blithely opposed U.S. initiatives and priorities in the United Nations. They took U.S. aid for granted because previous opposition hadn’t affected U.S. aid decisions and, instead, yielded to pressure from other countries to present regional solidarity and overwhelmingly…

  • Issue Brief posted September 2, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Anthony B. Kim Congress Should Link U.N. General Assembly Voting and Foreign Aid

    Congress has long been concerned that countries receiving American foreign aid frequently oppose U.S. initiatives and priorities in the United Nations. Since 1983, Congress has required the U.S. Department of State to prepare an annual report on the frequency with which other countries vote with the U.S. in the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA). In the three decades that…

  • Issue Brief posted August 4, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Charlotte Florance, Anthony B. Kim Setting a Course for Obama’s Rudderless Africa Policy

    A‌frican leaders and citizens had great expectations ‌in 2008 that the election of President Barack Obama would elevate the prominence of Africa and its concerns in U.S. government deliberations. These expectations have not been met with concrete policy action. During President Obama’s first four years in office, he spent less than 24 hours in Africa, making a brief…

  • Issue Brief posted July 29, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Charlotte Florance, Anthony B. Kim Congress Should Upgrade the African Growth and Opportunity Act

    The House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee will convene a timely hearing on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) on July 29. The hearing takes place at a critical juncture for America’s engagement with Africa. AGOA, first enacted under President Bill Clinton and amended and extended by legislation three times under President George W. Bush, enjoys broad…

  • Issue Brief posted June 10, 2014 by Anthony B. Kim, Curtis S. Dubay FATCA Hurts Law-Abiding Americans Living Abroad

    On July 1, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) will fully take effect. FATCA is supposed to reduce tax evasion by making it harder for tax cheats to abuse tax havens. In practice, however, FATCA is forcing law-abiding American taxpayers residing overseas to bear enormous financial and legal burdens. Congress should reform FATCA so that it does not hurt innocent…

  • Issue Brief posted February 20, 2014 by Anthony B. Kim, Charlotte Florance, James Phillips U.S. Should Support Tunisia’s Democratic Progress with Concrete Action

    On January 26, three years after the beginning of Tunisians’ uprising for greater freedom, Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly peacefully and decisively ratified a model constitution that lays the foundation for a functioning democracy in the birthplace of the Arab Spring. Tunisia’s remarkable political turnaround, epitomized by the near unanimous ratification of the…

  • Issue Brief posted September 17, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer, Anthony B. Kim Thirty Years of Voting in the U.N. General Assembly: The U.S. Is Nearly Always in the Minority

    Congress has been concerned for decades that countries receiving American foreign aid often oppose U.S. initiatives and priorities in the United Nations. A State Department annual report on the voting practices in the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA), mandated by Congress since 1983, shows that in the past 30 years voting coincidence with the U.S. surpassed 50 percent only…

  • Backgrounder posted August 19, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer, Anthony B. Kim, Charlotte Florance Congress Should Pave the Way for a U.S.–Africa Free Trade Agreement

    Vibrant economic growth and lasting development in sub-Saharan Africa depends greatly on increasing the competitiveness of African entrepreneurs through expanded economic freedom. Since the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was signed into law in May 2000, AGOA has contributed to that goal by providing expanded duty-free access for most imports from the region and…

  • Issue Brief posted July 15, 2013 by Brett D. Schaefer, Anthony B. Kim The Importance of Providing U.S. Food Aid during Egypt’s Ongoing Political Crisis

    The ongoing political crisis in Egypt has an economic foundation. For the past 18 years, the Egyptian economy has been “mostly unfree”—and among the least free in the Middle East and North Africa—in The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom. Lingering socialist economic policies adopted decades ago have discouraged investment, entrepreneurship, and job growth.…

  • Issue Brief posted May 24, 2013 by Ryan Olson, Anthony B. Kim Congress Should Query IMF Support for Capital Controls

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently weakened its long-held institutional support for the free flow of capital across national borders. The IMF’s new view, described most clearly in a document entitled “The Liberalization and Management of Capital Flows: An Institutional View,”[1] which was endorsed by the IMF governors in December 2012, is that temporary…

  • Issue Brief posted May 3, 2013 by Anthony B. Kim Three Key Questions for a New USTR

    President Obama has nominated Michael Froman, deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs since 2009, to be the next United States Trade Representative (USTR). In the coming weeks, the U.S. Senate will begin the confirmation process for Froman, whose task as America’s trade czar is to “serve as the president’s principal trade advisor, negotiator,…

  • Issue Brief posted April 18, 2013 by Ambassador Terry Miller, Anthony B. Kim Promoting Economic Freedom: Key to Realizing the World Bank’s Mission

    In an April 2 speech, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim set out the ambitious goal of ending extreme poverty within a generation.[1] Outlining a bold development agenda in advance of the World Bank–IMF spring meetings from April 19 to 21, Kim emphasized the importance of fostering “inclusive growth” and building “a science of delivery for development.” The search for a…