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  • 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]…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted January 28, 2015 by Ambassador Terry Miller A Modest Uptick in American Economic Freedom

    A steep, seven-year decline in U.S. economic freedom has come to an end, according to the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, published Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. The U.S. score in the index experienced a particularly large drop in 2009-10, pushing this country out of the “free” category and into the “mostly free” category. A slight…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted December 3, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Ambassador Terry Miller Argentina's Debt Crisis: Country Turns to UN to Avoid Accountability

    Defaulting on sovereign debt is never a good strategy.  Just ask Argentina. The South American nation has defaulted 10 times—most recently this summer—on its international obligations and has experienced sharp economic decline as a result. In the early 1900s, Argentina ranked among the world’s top 10 in per capita income. By 2012, it had fallen to 55th. Rather than…

  • 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.…

  • 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 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…

  • Issue Brief posted September 25, 2014 by Ryan Olson Obama Should Push Modi on Trade Facilitation

    This week President Barack Obama will welcome new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington for their first bilateral summit. In Geneva, the Trade Facilitation Preparatory Committee of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will also be meeting. The timing of these two events provides an opportunity to measure India’s commitment to trade freedom and to push Modi to…

  • 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…