• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Trading Our Way Around Recession

    In today’s Washington Post, Peterson Institute for International Economics director C. Fred Bergsten looks at anti-trade rhetoric emanating from the campaign trail and responds:

    [T]heir tone obscures a major success story: the dramatic improvement in our balance of international trade. This export boom has saved us from recession over the past year and, despite the recent financial turmoil, is likely to continue doing so. It is generating at least 2 million new and high-paying jobs, about half of them from increased foreign sales by the beleaguered manufacturing sector.

    Fresh evidence of the trend came last month, when the second-quarter growth rate for the U.S. economy was revised upward, to 3.3 percent. A record surge in net exports accounted for almost all of that expansion. Since the housing and financial crises erupted in mid-2007, there has been a decline in final domestic demand. We would have been in recession throughout this period had we relied wholly on internal economic forces.

    International trade has saved the day. Our external balance has improved by more than $200 billion as calculated for gross domestic product (GDP) purposes, cutting the previous deficit by more than one-third. This dramatic progress has kept the overall economy growing by modest amounts. The prophets of recession ignored the international engagement of the U.S. economy.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Trading Our Way Around Recession

    1. Mark O. Bara, Heming says:


      First of all, thank you for your efforts on behalf of conservative causes and all patriotic Americans who believe in freedom and individual responsibility.

      I would very much like to see a list of attendees for the recent Barbra Streisand/Barach Obama $28,500 per plate extravagant fundraiser, yesterday evening I believe it was. Have you or perhaps one of the conservative talk show hosts been able to compile such a list of notables, or perhaps it should be said people of notariety?

      Thank you for any attention and time that you can devote to this request and in the meantime, I look forward to hearing from you.

      I am by the way, a serious and dedicated conservative and registered Republican in Georgetown Co., SC. I am also privilaged to be a life member of the NRA (since 1970), a retired DNR wildlife biologist, and USCG officer back in the mid 1960's. Thanks, Mark

      Mark O. Bara

      TWS Cerified Wildlife Biologist

    2. Darvin Dowdy, Houst says:

      What percent of that "record surge in net exports" was due to the higher price of grains? One of the unexpected and pleasant consequences of the Corn Ethanol program has been that it has pushed up the price of grains. And the U.S. being the largest exporter of grain in the world can't help but benefit.

      The corn ethanol program certainly has its flaws but that is more than made up for by the influx of hard foreign currency as a result of grain exports. We desperately need that right now. The Corn Ethanol program "must" remain in place if for no other reason than to keep grain prices high.


      The irony is that the world demanded that we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. So we complied. And the result – they're paying more to us for the grain that they must have.

      Darvin Dowdy

    3. Pingback: Business blog » Blog Archive » Trading Our Way Around Recession

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.