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  • 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,…

  • Commentary posted August 19, 2015 by Brett D. Schaefer, Ambassador Terry Miller The UN Turns Its Economic Development Goals to Mush

    The United Nations is quite proud of its Millennium Development Goals - the criteria it uses to measure the success of economic development programs. In a 2013 report, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon "modestly" stated that "Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been the most successful global anti-poverty push in history." Of course, this is vastly…

  • 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 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…

  • Issue Brief posted June 5, 2015 by Ryan Olson To Avoid Trade Diversion, Congress Should Liberalize Rules of Origin

    Regional trade agreements (RTAs) have played an important role in global trade liberalization. However, a major weakness of such liberalization is trade diversion. Trade diversion occurs when regions liberalize at an uneven pace and this liberalization redirects trade flows to trade agreement beneficiaries. For example, when the U.S. signs a trade agreement with one…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Issue Brief posted April 27, 2015 by Ryan Olson Congress Should Swap Tariff Refunds for Long-Term GSP Reauthorization

    On April 22 and 23, the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees approved legislation to renew the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a trade program that removes tariffs on nearly 5,000 products from 126 developing countries. This is the second time in the 20 months since the program’s expiration that Congress will consider a bill to renew GSP. The…

  • Issue Brief posted April 9, 2015 by Ryan Olson What Big Labor Gets Wrong on Trade

    Congressional debate over trade promotion authority and the ongoing negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership has raised the profile of trade policy in recent weeks. In their zeal to block action, some critics of free trade have been encouraging common misperceptions with arguments that are patently false and ignore some of the most basic accepted principles of…

  • 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…

  • 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…