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    First Rain From Trade Storm

    Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had a front-page story on soaring unemployment among China’s rural migrants. While official Chinese employment statistics are spotty, the gigantic figures being thrown around are no surprise. The Journal and other outlets emphasize the Communist Party’s overwhelming fear of political instability caused by job loss. This … More

    The Left is the Real Party of Hoover

    Professor of European Political Economy at the London School of Economics, Willem Buiter, writes at the Financial Times: I used to be optimistic about the capacity of our political leaders and central bankers to avoid the policy mistakes that could turn the current global recession into a deep and lasting … More

    Is a Trade War on the Horizon?

    Jay Van Andel Senior Trade Policy Analyst at Heritage Daniella Markheim comments on why the recently discovered “Buy American” provisions in the ‘stimulus’ bill will only hurt the American economy in the long run. Advocates of Buy American rules claim that limiting competition for U.S. government contracts to domestic firms will protect U.S. jobs and … More

    We Sure Hope This Is True

    Reuters reports: Obama to work to pass Bush trade deals WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President-elect Barack Obama wants to win approval of stalled free trade deals with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, but more work is needed on two of the pacts, Democratic lawmakers said on Wednesday. “The president-elect wants to … More

    Skies Darken Over U.S.-China Trade

    The Sino-American trade conflict I wrote on last month has just become more likely. Chinese trade numbers show exports declining and imports collapsing at the end of 2008, the latter plunging 21% in December. The grave weakness in imports puts paid to the once-popular but unfounded notion that China could … More

    The 2009 Index of Economic Freedom

    For 15 years, The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation have been measuring countries’ commitment to free-market capitalism in the “Index of Economic Freedom.” The 2009 Index, published this week, provides strong evidence that the countries that maintain the freest economies do the best job of promoting prosperity for … More

    Better Stimulus Through Trade

    Reuters reports this weekend: Obama’s transition team said it is mulling “buy American” provisions for the stimulus package that could favor U.S. companies over foreign competitors. Protectionism is the last thing our economy needs right now. The last time the U.S. reverted to protectionism in a time of economic turmoil … More

    Stimulus Through Trade

    Former-Rep. James Bacchus (D-FL) writes in today’s Wall Street Journal: President-elect Barack Obama is rightly focused on preparing a stimulus plan to “jolt” the American economy toward recovery. Yet missing thus far is any mention of international trade as part of his plan. Democratic presidents — Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Carter … More

    Can Africa Trade Its Way to Peace?

    Former assistant secretary of state for Africa Herman Cohen writes in The New York Times: After his inauguration, Barack Obama should appoint a special negotiator who would propose a framework for an economic common market encompassing Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. This agreement would allow the free movement … More

    Protectionism Impeding Carbon Cutting

    Australia’s Institute of Public Affairs director of the intellectual property and free trade Tim Wilson writes in today’s Wall Street Journal: The high priests of climate change are wrapping up their latest meeting today in Poznan, Poland, where the United Nations is hosting a conference on global warming. But don’t … More