August 27, 2018
Despite its reliance on raising tariff barriers as a weapon in trade negotiation, the U.S. will soon have the opportunity to negotiate a new free trade deal based around some of the principles Ryan Young and I outline in our recent study “Traders of the Lost Ark.” Assuming it does not arrange to stay within the European Union’s customs union, the UK will regain full power to negotiate trade deals when it leaves the EU in March 2019. The administration should jump at the chance to create a new model for future trade deals.
August 24, 2018
Trade and specialization make all kinds of life-enriching innovations possible. In fact, Italian Renaissance art was one of them, a gift that continues to inspire us five centuries later. Re-opening trade with the Middle and Far East is what allowed Europe to climb out of the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. Venice, in particular, was a hub of trading activity, as Peter Frankopan points out in his 2016 book The Silk Roads: A New History of the World.
August 22, 2018
Most startups fail. The conventional wisdom is that about 90 percent of businesses fail within five years of their founding. For companies making new types of products in brand-new industries, maybe protective tariffs or other trade barriers can give them a little bit of a breather from foreign competition until they become established enough to compete on their own. This is the “infant industry” argument, and was first popularized by no less than John Stuart Mill.
August 20, 2018
While free trade with all nations is the avowed goal of both free traders (as we outline in our paper, Traders of the Lost Ark) and the current administration, it has to be acknowledged that China is a special case. China has repeatedly been a bad actor in trade, breaking international trading norms in several respects. Something has to be done – but what?
August 17, 2018
Why do people trade with each other at all? Because it makes them better off. As Iain Murray’s and my paper “Traders of the Lost Ark” opens: “Imagine yourself on a tropical island. Plenty of sunshine, trees for shade, and beautiful white sand beaches all around. You have the whole place to yourself. This idyllic paradise would be one of the poorest places on Earth. Why? Because you would have no one to trade with.”
August 15, 2018
In our new paper, “Traders of the Lost Ark,” my Competitive Enterprise Institute colleagues and I attempt to articulate a strong moral and economic case for free trade. Free trade has long been one of CEI’s core issues, and we felt it necessary to restate the case given current policy disputes. Those disputes, we believe, have lost sight of what trade is and why we engage in it, and in so doing will lead to the infringement of liberty and great economic harm.
August 5, 2018
New Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced on August 2nd his government was filing suit in Ontario’s Court of Appeal challenging the Canadian federal government’s constitutional authority to require the provinces to enact taxes on carbon dioxide emissions. Ontario joined another suit brought by Saskatchewan in its provincial court last month. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said that his government would consider joining Ontario’s suit.
July 27, 2018
As my colleague Ryan Young says, four percent economic growth is wonderful news. It provides yet more evidence that free-market, supply-side policies work, and that the rising tide of economic growth lifts all boats. There is a risk, however, that some other policies will derail this growth—that’s a risk that responsible free-market politicians should avoid at all costs.
July 26, 2018
Many trade-watchers are breathing a sigh of relief about President Trump’s meeting yesterday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The result was essentially a cease-fire. Juncker agreed that the EU would not impose a retaliatory car tariff it has been considering. In return, Trump agreed not to further raise steel and aluminum tariffs. These are both good things. But neither side is lowering any barriers.
July 24, 2018
As we’ve been saying ever since this issue heated up, tariffs hurt the economy. There’s no way around it. Seeing this harm, President Trump today proposed $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers hurt by his trade policies. This is a bad idea. This round of aid tries to fix one mistake with another mistake. That $12 billion of aid comes from other people, reducing their purchasing power and hurting other industries. Aid recipients will only benefit at others’ expense, meaning the best possible economic impact is zero.