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OpenMarket: Trade and International

  • Florida Bill Shines Light on Union Subsidy

    March 6, 2019
    Taxpayer dollars should be used to benefit the general public, not special interest groups. Yet, the state of Florida doles out a massive subsidy to government unions on an annual basis. This subsidy is known as union release time and permits public employees to perform union business on the taxpayer dime.
  • Three Reasons Kigali Amendment Favors China over America

    March 5, 2019
    Beginning in the 1970s, many policymakers became concerned that the refrigerants used in most air conditioners and refrigerators were leaking into the air and depleting the Earth’s ozone layer. This led to the negotiation and signing of the Montreal Protocol, a 1987 United Nations treaty phasing out the use of these chemicals.
  • Trade, Job Losses, and Comparable Wages

    March 1, 2019
    One of the frequent objections posted by those who are concerned about free trade is that it leads to job losses. This is true. However, saying that free trade causes job losses does not tell us very much. In this post I will try to put trade job losses in context, and then examine what is probably the more important policy question—what to do for those who lose their jobs to trade?
  • Administration Looks to Make Household-Level Imports More Expensive

    February 28, 2019
    One of the consistent problems with the Trump administration’s trade policy is an obsession with reciprocity—if goods aren’t treated exactly the same way as imports or exports in trade between two countries, then that is “unfair” to the U.S. This fundamentally misunderstands the nature of trade, which benefits from nondiscriminatory duties on the products of other nations regardless of what duties they themselves exact.
  • Say No to Trump's Proposed Auto Tariffs

    February 22, 2019
    President Trump is mulling a tariff on automobiles. Joining a long list of people urging him against it is the Japanese auto industry. That opposition is obviously self-interested, but has merit. Japanese automakers directly employ 92,000 U.S. workers. Counting in dealerships, parts suppliers, and others, they support over 1.5 million jobs, at least by their own estimate.
  • The Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act

    January 31, 2019
    This week Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) introduced the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act, which would reduce the president’s authority to unilaterally enact new tariffs by citing national security concerns. The Senate sponsors are Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA). The Democratic co-sponsor in the House is Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI).
  • VIDEO: Lower Shipping Costs, Repeal the Jones Act

    January 18, 2019
    The Jones Act, originally passed in 1920, is a law that requires ships that service U.S. ports to be entirely U.S. owned and operated. This protectionist measure unnecessarily increases costs on American consumers (and producers), especially in places like Puerto Rico and Hawaii, which depend on ocean-shipped cargo for much of their consumer goods.
  • Agenda for the 116th Congress: Trade

    January 18, 2019
    President Trump’s doubling of tariffs has already cost the economy almost 1.8 percentage points of growth. That means 2018’s 3.4 percent third quarter growth could have been 5.2 percent instead. If the economy veers into recession in the near future, President Trump’s trade policies will have played a major role. Congress needs to act as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Our trade policy recommendations follow four general themes that have bipartisan appeal—important in a newly divided Congress.
  • Brexit: The EU's Gordian Knot Strangles May's Government

    January 16, 2019
    When Rory Broomfield and I were examining the prospects for Britain leaving the European Union in 2014-16, we recognized that there was no easy way out. No off-the-shelf solution existed apart from the “Norway model,” which suffered from much the same problems that full membership of the EU inflicted upon Britain. Britain had become so entangled in the EU system that it amounted to a Gordian Knot incapable of being unraveled.
  • Reject U.S. Reciprocal Trade Act's Presidential Power Grab

    January 10, 2019
    A forthcoming bill, the U.S. Reciprocal Trade Act, written by “Death by China” coauthor Peter Navarro and other presidential advisers, seeks to expand the president’s tariff-making powers. Its goal is to encourage Beijing to open China’s markets to U.S. producers. The White House is currently seeking cosponsors for the bill, and President Trump is expected to promote it during his upcoming State of the Union address.

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