Free Trade

Monday, March 19th, 2018

The goal of feeding the power of the chief executive is always the core motivation of all forms of mercantilism, whether in the 17th century, the interwar years, or our own times.

Friday, March 9th, 2018

It’s been a beautiful thing to observe the wonderful effects of the tax cuts and deregulation of the last year. The tariffs take us off this clear path to the goal. The only question remains: is this a cul-de-sac or a u-turn? My own hope is that the political posturing is over in this one sector and we can move forward again with progress toward a world of peace, prosperity, and free trade, and that arbitrary rule will not permanently derail the rule of law in international economic relations.

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Restricting trade to boost aggregate demand is a fool’s errand.

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

And this isn’t only about the price of beer (you won’t say “dilly dilly” to $2 Bud Lights). It is about cars, computers, homes, offices, fixtures, and countless other items you use every day. The costs could very easily take away all the benefits accrued from income and corporate tax cuts. It also makes a joke of the Trump administration’s position against red tape and regulation. If my company can’t shop around for the best deal for my customers but instead must face a terrible trade bureaucracy to decline or permission in my every choice, we don’t have free enterprise.

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

Corporations and many households rightfully celebrated when the Trump administration led the way in cutting their taxes. Now, the administration is in effect clawing at least a little of that tax cut back in the name of increasing the profitability of two ailing American industries.

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

Economists tend to minimize those people who are hurt in the short run by free trade, but they're hard to ignore as a political voting bloc.

Friday, October 27th, 2017

The “FT” in NAFTA may stand for “free trade,” but that doesn’t mean it is.

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

The Jones Act prevents Hawaii from prospering from free trade.

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Adam Smith wisely pointed out what should have already been obvious: “Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production.”

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

We’ve been writing a lot lately about trade and immigration policy, and getting a wide array of thought-provoking comme

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan recently proposed a tax plan called A Better Way: A Vision for a Confident America. Ryan’s plan to make the United States more competitive includes a tax cut for businesses, a switch to a territorial tax system, and a border-adjustment tax. A tax cut and a switch to a territorial system would be positive for the economy. On the other hand, the border-adjustment tax would work like a tariff. It would encourage inefficient domestic production, which would raise prices and reduce real output. Over the long run the BAT would not even reduce the trade deficit.

Friday, April 21st, 2017

How much does import competition affect U.S. jobs?

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Few areas of life are as poorly understood as trade. This is remarkable because each of us engages in trade every day. We buy our groceries, clothing, electronics, etc. from other people rather than making them ourselves. If we didn’t think trade was worthwhile, we wouldn’t do it. But we do—because we know how poor we would be if each of tried to make all the things we want.

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Free trade lets global markets provide consumers with the best products at the lowest prices.

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

“When adversely affected minorities are politically powerful, governments often intervene with special-privilege legislation to insulate the “injured” parties from the effects of international cooperation or to give them special advantages in

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

The biggest news story in the world this past week has been the election of Donald Trump, and the biggest reason for his election was the vote of working class white voters in the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, states that had been projected to vote for Hillary Clinton. One current explanation is that these voters felt Trump better understood their economic anxieties better than Clinton – or past Republican candidates. In particular, President-elect Trump spent a lot of time during the campaign talking about trade with China and immigration.

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

With the Trans-Pacific Partnership heading to Capitol Hill for ratification, U.S. policymakers will weigh the proposed free-trade zone in an increasingly challenging trade environment. The strong dollar, a weaker global economy and low energy prices have all worked against the United States when it comes to trade, said Bob Hughes, senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research. Today, the U.S. posted a trade deficit for the month of