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.
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.
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.
January 3, 2019
At noon today, the 116th Congress convened. Over at Fox Business, Iain Murray and I look at what the coming year has in store for the new Congress on trade. The two biggest items are the NAFTA/USMCA vote, which isn’t a big deal, and China, which is.
December 27, 2018
Douglas Irwin’s magnum opus, published at the end of 2017, is already a classic. Given the prominent role trade is playing in politics right now, it is also very timely. At almost 700 pages, “Clashing over Commerce” looks intimidating. But once you start reading, it isn’t. Irwin tells a coherent story that spans generations, showcasing the prominent personalities in the great trade debate, their larger philosophical and economic arguments, and the legislation and policies they fought over. It hits on all levels.
December 24, 2018
2018 was the year in which President Trump began to implement his campaign promises of using tariffs to change America’s trade policy. The ostensible reason was to protect American jobs and industries. In so doing, the President jettisoned his party’s long-standing adherence to free-market principles. It appears that this is one of several changes that represent the beginnings of a political realignment that may well be global in nature.
December 20, 2018
Think Julian Simon, Matt Ridley, and Steven Pinker’s data-driven optimism, mixed with Michael Shermer and Bryan Caplan’s awareness of human cognitive biases, as told by a kindly, avuncular Norwegian. The book reads easily, is visually savvy, and has a friendly, non-polemic tone.
December 11, 2018
Katowice, Poland—“Le temps est mauvais,” an African delegate told a colleague as they wrapped themselves up against the early evening chill. The weather wasn’t as leaden and directionless as inside the twenty-fourth Conference of the Parties (COP-24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
December 3, 2018
Nobody knew what to expect going into the G20 summit in Argentina, especially from a planned meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump. The headlines coming out of the meeting are largely positive. China is ending its 40 percent tariff on U.S.-made autos, while the U.S. will delay for 90 days a rise in tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent, previously scheduled for January 1.
November 28, 2018
“Vote leave, take control” was the slogan of the “leave” campaign during the run-up to the vote on whether the United Kingdom should exit the European Union. Despite this, British Prime Minister Theresa May has negotiated a deal with the European Union that cedes further control over British law to the EU, and has given the EU a veto over Britain extracting itself from the deal.