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  • Natural Gas Exports: Remove Government Barriers

    A June 18 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing will focus on the future of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. Currently, the U.S. can freely export LNG to another country only if it has a free trade agreement with that country. Requests to export to the rest of the world … More

    Getting More Bang for the Buck from Food Aid

    Proposed changes to food aid programs would allow U.S. tax dollars to feed more people at a lower cost. Representatives Ed Royce (R–CA) and Karen Bass (D–CA) recently proposed legislation that would remove counter-productive restrictions on the use of food-aid dollars while ending a wasteful process known as “monetization.” Monetization … More

    Trade Agreements Can Advance Economic Freedom

    The United States is currently engaged in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations designed to reduce barriers to international trade and investment. The latest text from these negotiations shows how trade agreements, if properly designed and implemented, help advance economic freedom around the world. Among other things, the draft text calls … More

    Protectionist Japan? Check the Numbers

    A recent news report was headlined: “Lawmakers, business groups balk at trade deal with protectionist Japan.” A more accurate title would have been: “Protectionist U.S. lawmakers, special-interest groups balk at trade deal with Japan.” Over 40 Members of Congress recently wrote to President Obama to express concern about allowing Japan … More

    The Best Plan for Farmers and Ranchers: Free Trade

    Congress is currently fighting over the future of U.S. farm programs. In 2011, taxpayers subsidized farmers to the tune of $10.4 billion in government payments. Imagine if the government had a way to increase payments to farmers while reducing taxpayer subsidies to zero. Such a policy exists. It’s called free … More

    Government Sugar Policy: Buy High, Sell Low?

    It was recently reported that the federal government is considering buying 400,000 tons of sugar to prop up prices for sugar producers. The government would then sell the sugar at a loss of 10 cents per pound, costing taxpayers $80 million. Conventional wisdom for investors is “buy low, sell high.” … More

    President Obama’s Middle East Trip Underscores Need for Economic Freedom

    President Obama is in the Middle East this week, two years and three months after Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi unleashed the Arab Spring by protesting against his lack of economic freedom. Mohamed’s father died when he was three years old. When his stepfather became ill, Mohamed quit school to … More

    Does the United States Really Have a Trade Deficit?

    In 2012, $3.4 trillion came into the United States through trade and investment, and $3.4 trillion left, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Every dollar Americans sent to people in other countries was balanced by a dollar sent back to the United States: 64 cents for U.S. exports, … More

    One of America’s Biggest Exports: Treasury Securities

    The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recently released statistics on U.S. exports for January, but failed to mention of one of the biggest U.S. “exports”—federal Treasury securities. In 2012, the government financed its deficit spending by selling $382 billion in Treasury securities to foreign buyers. To put that in perspective, … More

    Attention, Reporters: A Trade Deficit Is Not Bad

    The latest trade deficit figures are out, and, as always, most reports fail to accurately explain what these numbers mean. Consider the following widely reported statement: A narrower trade gap boosts growth because it means U.S. companies are earning more from overseas sales while U.S. consumers and businesses are spending … More