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  • Commentary posted February 1, 2016 by Anthony B. Kim America’s Economic Freedom Has Rapidly Declined Under Obama

    Millions of people around the world are emerging from poverty thanks to rising economic freedom. But by sharp contrast, America’s economic freedom has been on a declining path over the past decade. America’s declining score in the index is closely related to rapidly rising government spending, subsidies, and bailouts. According to the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom, an…

  • Issue Brief posted November 13, 2015 by Anthony B. Kim, Joshua Meservey Tunisia Deserves America’s Concrete and Committed Support

    On November 13, Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Tunisia to hold the second U.S.–Tunisia Strategic Dialogue. Following the inception of the critical dialogue between the two countries in April 2014, the second session of the dialogue is expected to focus on how to ensure Tunisia’s ongoing transition to a stable, free-market democracy. Secretary Kerry’s visit…

  • 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…

  • 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…