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Critics Corner: Tax Foundation’s Erica York on Tariffs

On this episode of Critics Corner, Tax Foundation senior economist Erica York joins Oren Cass for a conversation about tariffs: who bears the cost, who benefits, and much more. Further Read more…

Only Trump Could Confront China

The inside story of the trade negotiation that changed the world

Policy Brief: End “Permanent Normal Trade Relations” with China

Reclaiming control of U.S. trade policy

Policy Brief: The Global Tariff

Levy a tariff on all imports that rises until trade is balanced

Policy Brief: The Market Access Charge

Make American goods more attractive to foreigners than American assets

Policy Brief: The Import Certificate

Balance trade by requiring importers to purchase credits from exporters.

Talkin’ (Policy) Shop: Balancing U.S. Trade

On this episode of Policy in Brief, Oren Cass is joined by American Compass policy director Chris Griswold to discuss how U.S. trade fell so far out of balance—and some ideas for how to rebalance it.

Bad Trade

“Bad competitiveness” results in weakening demand, which either reduces global production or requires surging debt to maintain demand and production at its existing level. Perhaps that rings a bell, because it is the world we live in.

How to Bound the American Market

In his essay, Oren Cass correctly argues that a well-functioning capitalist system requires a “bounded market” within a nation-state that imposes interdependence on labor, capital, and consumers. Frictionless capital mobility across borders, in contrast, decouples the interests of investors from their country and their workers.

Why the Free Trade Debate Needs the Real Adam Smith

Oren Cass is right to note that modern economists largely misunderstand Adam Smith. But the misunderstanding runs deeper and traces even further back than editorializing in 20th-century textbooks. For more than two centuries, scholars have ignored the relationship between Smith’s political philosophy and economic analysis.

Freer Trade Isn’t Always Better

Oren Cass takes on the entrenched belief held by the U.S. economics profession that countries should always pursue a policy of free trade. He argues that Smith and Ricardo have been misunderstood for generations because their key assumptions around capital mobility were omitted as the arguments were passed down.

Just Say No to Rejoining TPP

Economic theorists treat globalization as the free market’s natural end state. But trade practitioners know that the opposite is true—that efforts at stitching together the world’s economies are among the messiest sausage-making exercises in policymaking.

America Should Use Existing Tools, Not Fashion New Ones

The debate over free trade versus protectionism has been around for hundreds of years, with a level of political prominence that has varied over time. After a relatively quiet period in the post-war era, the modern debate over trade and globalization’s rules and institutions has grown quite contentious.

Modern Economics Is Not an Illuminati Conspiracy

The first part of Mr. Cass’s argument is that the entire economics profession has either misread or misinterpreted a sentence in Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, and that it has built the case for free trade from that alleged misreading or misrepresentation. This is simply and fundamentally not true.

Trading It All Away

Adapted from remarks delivered by Senator Marco Rubio on the 20th anniversary of China’s ascension to the WTO.

The Costs of Tech Policy Inaction

Regulatory skeptics make a fundamental mistake in assuming that the United States can freely choose between greater state intervention in digital markets and a continued laissez-faire approach.

Magical Thinking on China and Trade

Unilaterally disarming from trade conflict on behalf of open markets, and then making empty demands, is not a plan.

Shooting Down the Flying Geese Theory of Trade

Although neoliberal globalists are often said to be opposed to industrial policy and strategic trade, that is not necessarily true.  Neoliberals of the kind who have dominated U.S. policy under the two Bushes, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are not orthodox anti-government libertarians.  They support a particular kind of industrial policy, whose emblem is not the American eagle but the Japanese goose.

Diplomatic Considerations for LCRs

A Response to Michael Lind

Balanced Trade, Robust Industry, and Rising Productivity: Pick All Three

Professor Dan Drezner is again illustrating how we ended up with a misbegotten consensus on globalization built upon inadequate assumptions and shallow analysis. A couple of weeks ago, we encountered him badly mischaracterizing a study about the supposed value of trade liberalization. Breezing past that issue, he is back now with a more outlandish claim, that: “a world in which ‘trade were balanced, domestic industry robust, and productivity rising’ is a world that not only does not exist, but very likely cannot exist” (emphasis in original).

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