Tag Archives: trade

APEC trade ministers omit protectionism pledge in statement

Source: Bloomberg

“Asia-Pacific trade ministers issued a diluted ‘actions’ statement after a weekend meeting in Vietnam, suggesting further pressure from the U.S. to avoid explicit pledges to combat protectionism. The statement came after a dispute over wording, particularly whether to include language about protectionism. Instead, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation document focused on issues like regulation and red tape. ‘We call on officials to accelerate work to deepen APEC’s structural reform agenda to remove barriers to trade and investment,’ it said.” (05/21/17)

Should US imports be taxed to subsidize exports?

Source: National Center for Policy Analysis
by David Ranson

“The tax debate in Congress has shifted away from simply cutting taxes to restructuring the tax system. There is no shortage of reform proposals, but current initiatives in tax and trade policy are no longer pointing in the right direction.” [summary — full paper available as PDF download] (04/17)


Economic nationalists should be the very LAST people to endorse the use of retaliatory subsidies

Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“If subsidies are generally economically beneficial — if governments are generally good at ‘picking winners’ — there is no need or cause for the U.S. government to wait for other governments to use subsidies before it uses subsidies. Yet most of us Americans are justifiably skeptical of subsidies. We correctly understand that subsidies doled out by the national, state, and local governments generally inflict damage on the American economy. We realize that subsidies slow economic growth. We know that governments are losers at picking winners. We grasp the reality that subsidies misallocate resources. We sensibly conclude that subsidies make us, on the whole, poorer than we would be without subsidies. The major exception to this healthy hostility to subsidies is the set of subsidies said to be in retaliation for foreign-government subsidization of foreign industries that compete with American industries.” (03/24/17)


Why free trade is officially dead

Source: Cobden Centre
by Alasdair MacLeod

“G20 Finance ministers meeting in Baden Baden last weekend agreed, on America’s insistence, to drop the long-standing commitment to free trade from the final communique. It is hard to know to what extent America’s position is driven by her autarkic view on world trade, or to what extent it is an acknowledgement of the fruitlessness of paying lip-service to an ideal which is never delivered. Doubtless, it’s a bit of both. It is certainly true that finance ministers in the advanced nations have always shown a protectionist attitude towards international trade, protectionism that has intensified through attacks on American international corporations, which to a large extent can choose where to pay their taxes.” (03/24/17)


The truth about the single market

Source: spiked
by Phill Mullan

“Even many Brexit supporters seem to accept that more expensive and reduced levels of trade with the EU would be costly for the British economy, depicting this as a necessary, if unfortunate, expense of regaining sovereignty. We should all be less negative about the economic consequences of changing Britain’s trading relationships. Countries around the world, and throughout history, have traded successfully without formal trade agreements. Today, Britain’s biggest single export market is the US — a country it has no trade agreement with. Meanwhile none of the top three exporters into the Single Market — that’s China, the US and Russia — have trade agreements with the EU.” (03/24/17)


Rules-based, automatically adjusting trade policy for freer trade

Source: Cobden Centre
by Vishal Wilde

“A major contemporary worry is that threats of tariffs, preservation of subsidies and licensing and standards restrictions for imports and exports will derail any progress that has been made towards true free trade. Indeed, one of the issues is that as politicians seek to satisfy particular Special Interest Groups over others, the risks of a trade war escalating as tariffs on particular products correspond to the other nation reciprocating and so on and so forth are very real. One way to deal with this may be, rather counter-intuitively, to set up a system of automatically-adjusting subsidies and tariffs that is ‘rules-based’ rather than what is essentially discretion.” (03/23/17)


G20: Top economies yield to US, drop no-protectionism pledge

Source: Sacramento Bee

“The world’s top economic powers dropped a pledge to oppose trade protectionism amid pushback from the Trump administration, which wants trade to more clearly benefit American companies and workers. Finance ministers from the Group of 20 countries meeting in the southern German town of Baden-Baden issued a statement Saturday that said only that countries ‘are working to strengthen the contribution of trade’ to their economies. By comparison, last year’s meeting called on them to resist ‘all forms’ of protectionism, which can include border tariffs and rules that keep out imports to shield domestic companies from competition.” (03/18/17)


Li to Trump: We don’t want a trade war — but if there is one, you’d lose

Source: Washington Post

“China’s premier told the United States on Wednesday: We don’t want a trade war with you, but if one breaks out, your companies would bear the brunt. Yet despite tensions over jobs, currency rates and ‘security matters,’ Li Keqiang told a news conference in Beijing ahead of the first visit by the new U.S. secretary of state that he remained optimistic about the future of China’s relationship with the United States.” (03/15/17)


The only sovereignty that truly matters in matters of trade

Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“John Bolton worries that American participation in the WTO diminishes U.S. sovereignty (‘Trump, Trade, and American Sovereignty,’ March 8). For argument’s sake, let’s stipulate that Mr. Bolton is correct that WTO dispute-resolution procedures wrongly and dangerously diminish Uncle Sam’s sovereignty. What to do? By far the best and surest solution to this problem is for the U.S. to adopt, unconditionally, a policy of unilateral free trade. Because such a policy would render U.S. membership in the WTO (and, indeed, in all trade agreements) pointless, our government could withdraw from that organization. American consumers would be free to buy from whichever suppliers offer them the best deals, while American producers would be free to sell to whichever buyers make them the best offers.” (03/08/17)


Brexit is the greatest opportunity for free trade and prosperity since the repeal of the Corn Laws

Source: Cobden Centre
by Michael Tomlinson MP

“I grant you that it is an unusual anniversary, and I have as yet failed to invent a suitable soubriquet. But 171 years ago precisely (well, almost), a speech was delivered which bore fruit in the shape of globalisation and free trade. At about half past eleven o’clock in the evening of February 16, 1846, Robert Peel stood up and moved the Second Reading of his bill to repeal the Corn Laws. His speech was given on the fifth day of a 12 day debate (they clearly knew how to do things properly back then), during which a battle between the ideals of free trade and against protectionism was waged. As we seek to persuade the EU and rest of the world of the benefits of free trade, this same fight is as relevant for us today as it was for Peel.” (02/16/17)