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  • Backgrounder posted September 12, 2014 by Bryan Riley Foreign Export Credit Subsidies: Kill Them, Don’t Copy Them

    Many supporters of the U.S. Export–Import Bank (Ex–Im Bank) assert that the bank serves a legitimate purpose as a response to export subsidies provided by foreign governments. For example, according to National Association of Manufacturers President and Chief Executive Officer Jay Timmons, The size and scope of the Ex–Im Bank pales in comparison to the official export…

  • 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…

  • Backgrounder posted September 10, 2014 by Ryan Olson The Generalized System of Preferences: Time to Renew and Reform the U.S. Trade Program

    On July 31, 2013, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)—the U.S. trade program designed to promote trade in developing countries—expired without renewal for the eighth time in its 30-year history. Over the past year, imports entering the U.S. under the program have incurred higher tariff rates, increasing costs for producers and consumers. Originally designed as a…

  • 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 July 23, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Ambassador Terry Miller U.N. Repeating Past Mistakes in New Sustainable Development Goals

    The United Nation General Assembly is poised to adopt a new set of development criteria called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this September.[1] The SDGs are intended to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that expire at the end of 2015. Like the MDGs, the SDGs will involve a number of objectives that will be used by the U.N. to guide and measure…

  • 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…

  • Backgrounder posted June 5, 2014 by Bryan Riley U.S. Trade Policy Gouges American Sugar Consumers

    On March 28, 2014, attorneys for U.S. sugar growers charged Mexican sugar growers with “dumping” sugar in the United States at unfair prices. Although the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) eliminated tariffs between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, a loophole allows domestic producers to request anti-dumping duties to protect them from international…

  • Issue Brief posted June 5, 2014 by Bryan Riley, Donghun Yu The Truth about NAFTA: Lessons for Trade Negotiations

    In 1993, critics of the proposed North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) made dire predictions about what would happen if Congress approved it. However, wiser heads prevailed, and NAFTA took effect on January 1, 1994. Today, the same misguided arguments are being used in connection with new free trade agreements such as the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)…

  • Commentary posted May 29, 2014 by Ambassador Terry Miller IMF reforms give Ukraine chance to shed past corruption

    The reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund and European Union provide the best chance for Ukraine to overcome the legacy of socialism and corruption that have left its people impoverished and its economy the least free in Europe. Like any country populated with real people with diverse backgrounds, needs and skills, Ukraine's political and economic problems…

  • Issue Brief posted May 23, 2014 by Bryan Riley, Brett D. Schaefer Congress Should Reject Proposed Food Aid Shipping Mandate

    The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 (H.R. 4005) on April 1. Largely unnoticed, H.R. 4005 would reverse reforms adopted in the Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012 and the Agriculture Act of 2014 and increase the amount of U.S. food assistance required to be shipped on U.S. vessels from 50 percent to 75…

  • Backgrounder posted May 22, 2014 by Brian Slattery, Bryan Riley, Nicolas Loris Sink the Jones Act: Restoring America’s Competitive Advantage in Maritime-Related Industries

    The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, more commonly referred to as the Jones Act, is a protectionist measure that regulates domestic U.S. shipping practices. The Jones Act mandates that any goods shipped by water between two points in the United States must be transported on a U.S.-built, U.S.-flagged, and at least 75 percent U.S.-crewed vessel. Originally conceived to sustain…

  • Commentary posted May 21, 2014 by Bryan Riley, Brett D. Schaefer Time to Privatize OPIC

    What do Enron, the Soros Economic Development Fund, Papa John’s Pizza, Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, MTV, the Bank of Palestine, and Deutsche Bank have in common? They’ve all benefited from millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). OPIC provides loans and loan guarantees for investments in developing and emerging…

  • Commentary posted May 20, 2014 by James M. Roberts Free Markets, Limited Government Keys To Prosperity

    For the last 20 years, the Index of Economic Freedom has evaluated the state of economic freedom in virtually every nation, documenting the critical link between economic opportunity and prosperity. It shows how free-market, limited-government, rules-based capitalism helps people at every level of society to prosper. This month the Heritage Foundation launched the third…