Category Archives: International Trade Policy

Our Political Parties Vacillating Position on Free Trade / Populist Anti-Free Trade Is Nothing New

Mary Ann and I are cleaning out our attic. Boxes and boxes of old children’s toys, various and sundry other stuff arranged in no particular order are being sorted and donated to Goodwill or moved to the ever expanding trash pile. This Saturday morning, we were reminiscing over a set of dishes neatly packed away in wrapping paper. Mary Ann was doing more reminiscing, I was examining the wrapping paper. From the Friday, October 31, 2008 edition of the Wall… Continue Reading ››

Trumpian Trade, are we going to be “The Winner?!”

I wanted to post on Friday, but somehow I thought I ought to give supporters of Mr. Trump at least a day to enjoy his inauguration before critiquing him as our new president.  So, here we are on Monday morning and we’re now in the brave new world of Trump. His inauguration speech was nationalist to its core, and from an economic perspective, it couldn’t be more wrong-headed.  Mr. Trump is getting increasingly explicit over the ways he wants to… Continue Reading ››

Trump’s Trumps

A new controversy–well, not really new, just renewed–has now taken the stage regarding President-Elect Donald Trump’s transition.  This one concerns the “flavor” of his cabinet choices, taken collectively.  The media and Democrats are trying to figure out (1) what they tell us about Trump and (2) what the supporter–stakeholders think about the choices.  Those are interesting questions.  I am not sure they can be answered adequately at this point, but let’s at least explore them. First, do the choices made… Continue Reading ››

Dueling Economic Proposals: Will They Sway Anyone?

I have so far avoided taking any position on the two main candidates for president.  For my colleague Mark Smith, don’t worry, I will.  I intend to continue the path of avoidance in this blog.  Today I would like to examine and evaluate each candidate’s economic program.  I say nothing about their personal morality, or personality, or anything except economic program as articulated formally.  Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have both now laid out their plans.  I will look first… Continue Reading ››

Globalism versus Globalization

President Obama has shown his true colors again.  In a speech to a group of ambassadors gathered at the White House (July 15) he said this: “I think we have to step back [from the Nice attack] and reflect on what we are doing to eliminate this kind of chronic violence. It’s been a difficult several weeks in the United States.  But the divide … is between people who recognize the common humanity of all people and are willing to build [international]… Continue Reading ››

Free Trade: Trump, Clinton, Obama, and Ryan. Who is Right?

I hate to beat a dead horse, but the issue of trade keeps coming up in the news, whether from Donald Trump and the Trumpists or from Paul Ryan or from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, all claiming to have the right position on trade and the place of the United States in the global economic world.  Let’s sort through this mess first to find out who stands for what, if anything. Trump is a protectionist, that is pretty clear. … Continue Reading ››

Goodbye EU

Since the vote to leave the European Union is done, and Great Britain is out, I suppose I will give my opinion about it.  This undoubtedly will not be shared by all.  First, let me say—again—that I strongly favor free trade among nations.  Having said that, the EU is very much more than an economic association.  And even its s0-called free trade is far from free.  It really amounts to protectionism by cartel.  Right there then goes much of the… Continue Reading ››

Protectionism, Donald Trump and the Kevin Williamson Blast

It seems this blog overlaps one just published by my colleague Jeff Haymond.  But I will publish mine anyway, since it nicely supplements his. Donald Trump has been saying quite a bit recently about the disappearance of (especially) manufacturing jobs in the South as well as the “Rust Belt,” blaming those lost jobs on the trade policies of both Democrats and “establishment” Republican politicians.  But in addition, an article appeared recently by Kevin Williamson, or at least is scheduled to… Continue Reading ››

The 5,500 Page Behemoth

In this blog, I have but one question, regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which has just been made available for one’s reading pleasure.  Here is my question.  For an agreement that is touted as a free trade compact, why do we need a 5, 500 page document (parts of which I have read)?  If we are serious about free trade, forgive simple-mindedness, but why don’t the nations agree to the following language: “From the effective date of this agreement, trade… Continue Reading ››

The Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement

This short blog is just a follow-up to my colleague Jeff Haymond’s blog on the trade agreement before Congress now.  Dr. Haymond defended the agreement on the correct grounds that it enhanced free trade and that free trade is good for everyone, at least in the longer run (and given some short-run and inevitable disruptions).  I fully agree with him, but in recent weeks I have had increasing concerns. 1.  Why is the agreement being kept secret? 2.  Why should… Continue Reading ››