Tagged Protectionism

Donald Trump Is Not as Bad as We Thought He Would Be. He’s Worse. Far Worse.

Since Donald Trump’s inauguration as president, the following has occurred in the United States of America: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington had to file a complaint “to notify the new president that he was officially in violation of his lease for the Trump International Hotel down the street from the White House. The lease that one of Trump’s company’s, Trump Old Post Office LLC, signed with the government states that no ‘elected official’ of the U.S. government can share in the lease or derive benefit from it.” Trump heard a sermon from Robert Jeffress, a Trumpkin pastor who tried to invoke God to…

The Worst Possible Inaugural Address, By the Worst Possible President

Donald Trump is now the president of the United States, and on his very first day, with his very first speech, he has managed to redraw the picture of America to which we are used. Before Trump, we were accustomed to an America that engaged the world with confidence and strength. An America willing to trade with the world, understanding that trade is not a zero-sum game. An America that not only honored its alliances, but ensured that its allies would never have any reason to doubt American resolve. An America with problems–because no nation is without problems–but one that…

Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Insults the Very Nation She Wishes to Lead

The putative next president of the United States has been trying recently to seem more approachable, more warm, more friendly, more of a kind-of-person-you-and-I-would-want-to-have-a-beer-with kind of politician. Presumably, achieving all of this would cause the rest of us to want to give her the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But when one looks beyond the charm offensive, one continues to find little charm, and much that is offensive.

The Democratic Party’s Failure on Trade Policy

As anyone who follows the news is aware, Barack Obama’s biggest legislative goal for his second term is to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. He may well get fast-track authority in order to push for passage of the agreement, and the agreement may yet pass. I hope that he does get fast-track authority, and that the agreement passes. But as anyone who follows the news is also aware, the initial attempt to pass fast-track authority failed in the House of Representatives, because Democrats decided to desert and defy a president from their own party:

Semi-Good News on Trade Policy

I am pleased to see that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Act has gotten a boost from the United States Senate with the Senate’s decision to grant President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate a new trade deal. I wish that I could say that the vote was unanimous, but alas, it wasn’t, thanks mainly to protectionist Democrats who want America’s trade policies to be as antediluvian as humanly possible. Protectionist Democrats may get another shot at undermining American trade policy by opposing fast-track in the House of Representatives. The question is whether House Republicans will join in this effort to sabotage the…

The Trade Policy Clown Show of 2015

Great nations are not normally in the habit of allowing childish temper tantrums to dictate economic policy. Great nations are even less inclined to sacrifice an excellent economic deal because of a temper tantrum. And yet, when we examine the frantic and immature back-and-forth regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Act, we see that the United States–a great nation despite the example often set by its “leaders”–has been flirting over the past twenty-four hours with the option of throwing away an excellent economic deal with both hands, in part because trade protectionists have gotten their feelings hurt. I alluded to this issue…

So Much for Expecting Enlightenment on Trade Policy

I had harbored some hope that politicians would behave like adults when it came to addressing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. As noted in my previous post, the benefits of free trade are clear and overwhelming, the American public appears more ready to accept and support trade deals, and there is bipartisan cooperation between congressional Republicans and the Obama administration to ensure that the president will have fast-track authority with which to push through a trade deal. Unfortunately, those congressional Democrats decided to stand in the way by “voting to hold up consideration of ‘fast track’ trade authority unless related measures are…

Remember: Free Trade Is a Good Thing

From a policy perspective, there doesn’t seem to be much going on that is good these days, so I suppose that when we actually do find good news, we ought to highlight it. That is what I am trying to do in this post about free trade.

How to Learn the Value of Free Trade

There are any number of academic lectures, position papers, charts, books, PowerPoint presentations and briefings that are able to demonstrate to an open-minded audience why free trade is preferable to protectionism–or as protectionism is so often (and so misleadingly) called, “fair trade.” And to be sure, academic lectures, position papers, charts, books, PowerPoint presentations and briefings certainly have their place in the world of policy debates and policy education. But you know what really helps teach the value of free trade? I’ll tell you: Experience. My favorite part of William Watson’s post: At the risk of being overly simplistic, I…

Chaos Has Come to American Foreign Policy

We were assured in 2008 and 2012 that if we were wise enough to vote for Barack Obama as our president, we would see vast and significant benefits in the conduct and management of American foreign policy. We the voting populace fulfilled our end of the bargain–well, at least enough of us did to make Barack Obama the 44th president of the United States–and while no one surely expected the conduct and management of American foreign policy to be all sunshine and unicorns, one certainly expected (and should have expected) better than this: AFTER AN agreement to “de-escalate tensions and…