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  • More Trade, Please

    Some vocal critics of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which authorizes the President to negotiate trade agreements with other countries, argue that free trade harms U.S. workers. Economic experts disagree. In 2006, 87.5 percent of respondents to a survey of 210 PhD members of the American Economic Association agreed that the … More

    Trade Promotion Authority’s Benefits Depend on the Details

    Legislation to give President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) was just introduced. TPA gives the President the authority to negotiate trade agreements, which are then presented to Congress for an up-or-down vote. When asked whether Congress should enact TPA legislation, Senator Ron Wyden (D–OR), who is likely to assume chairmanship … More

    Tea Party Supporters Should Continue to Back Free Trade

    Recent media reports have questioned whether “Tea Party” members support free trade. Historically, the record is clear: Tea partiers were America’s original free traders. In 1773, American colonists dumped 340 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor rather than pay tariffs on imported tea. Less than three years later, signers … More

    Lawmakers’ Currency Demands Could Backfire on U.S. Exporters

    A number of U.S. legislators want to give the Obama Administration the power to impose tariffs on imports from countries that manipulate their currencies. Such a policy could boomerang on U.S. exporters if other governments follow suit, since reductions in the value of the dollar in recent years could be … More

    A Tariff Cut Can Boost U.S. Output

    The Federal Reserve recently cut its forecast for economic growth in the United States. That’s a problem. We need higher growth to create jobs and rebuild a prosperous middle class. However, there’s a simple way the government could combat continued weak growth: eliminate tariffs on inputs used by U.S. producers. … More

    Expiration of Trade Preference Program Means Higher Prices

    On July 31, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) expired. GSP is a program that waives tariffs on thousands of products that Americans import from developing countries. In 2012, the program reduced tariffs by $742 million. As House Ways and Means chairman Dave Camp (R–MI) observed, “GSP provides important benefits … More

    “Everyday High Prices” Should Not Be Trade Agency’s Slogan

    Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations are taking place this week in Malaysia. Here’s a modest suggestion to help new U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman bring the TPP to a successful conclusion: eliminate the position of Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Textiles, a job that places the welfare of one special … More

    Trade Promotion Authority Should Mean Authority to Promote Trade—Period

    There’s a good chance Congress will consider legislation this summer to extend trade promotion authority (TPA) to President Obama. If it does, lawmakers should pay especially close attention to the wording of the bill. TPA is the legislative vehicle that allows the President to negotiate with other countries on beneficial … More

    Good News: Reporters Link Bigger Trade Deficit to Stronger Economy

    The government just announced that the trade deficit for May increased by $400 million. Usually, the media report announcements of bigger trade deficits as bad news, accompanied by mistaken assertions that trade deficits are a drag on the economy. But this time, some reporters got it right. According to Reuters: … More

    Trade Deficit Worry Warts Ignore $26 TRILLION in Foreign Investment

    The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recently reported that job-creating foreign investment in the United States is approaching $26 trillion. In the first quarter of 2013, the value of foreign investment in the United States increased by $394 billion. That includes investments in U.S. stocks and bonds, government securities, … More