Free Trade & Trade Policy

Free Trade Benefits vs. Fears of Foreign Goods

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke before a joint session of the U.S. Congress on April 29, 2015 and offered his “eternal condolences to the souls of all American people that were lost during World War II,” but never directly said that he was sorry for Imperial Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The real purpose ... [click for more]

TGIF: The War of 1812 Was the Health of the State, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 In 1918, having watched in horror as his Progressive friends gleefully jumped onto Woodrow Wilson’s war wagon, Randolph Bourne penned the immortal words: “War is the health of the state.” As he explained it, The republican State has almost no trappings to appeal to the common man’s emotions. What it has ... [click for more]

Free Trade: The Engine of Revolution

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To say that a country so remote and insignificant as Korea is our first line of defense is to say that every nation in every part of the world is also our “first line of defense” — a conception which is obviously fantastic and grotesque to the borders of megalomania. —Louis Bromfield, 1954 Louis Bromfield (1896–1956) may ... [click for more]

The Libertarian Angle: Free Trade

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FFF president Jacob Hornberger and FFF vice president Sheldon Richman discuss the hot topics of the day. This week: the unintended consequences of an interventionist foreign policy. The Libertarian Angle airs weekly and is part of the Voices of Liberty community . Go to the podcast. [click for more]

How Trade Wars Shaped Early America, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 Fair trade is once again a rallying cry for many Americans. Many contemporary leftists believe that the U.S. government should impose restrictions or tariffs on imported goods that are alleged to have been produced by underpaid or oppressed Third World workers. Few contemporary protectionists are aware of the sordid history of trade ... [click for more]

The Fault in Fairness

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The coffee aisle at the supermarket has become the latest front in the crusade for “social justice.” Coffee roasters proudly tout their allegiance to the ideals of the fair-trade movement, which ostensibly aims to elevate the economic and social welfare of disadvantaged Third-World farmers. Despite its meteoric rise in popularity, does fair trade translate its stated intentions into tangible results? ... [click for more]

The Domino Effect of Sugar Protectionism

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“Like most conservatives, I don’t like subsidies or government intervention in markets.” So began a column in the Daily Caller by Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.). Anyone familiar with the ways of Washington knows what’s coming next: a series of sorry excuses for why — just this once — the congressman’s alleged commitment to free-market principles must be jettisoned. Rooney ... [click for more]

Labor Outsourcing Is Not the Problem

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President Obama thinks he can score points on Mitt Romney by pointing out that companies acquired by Bain Capital outsourced jobs to other countries. The implication is that there is something unpatriotic in contracting for foreign labor. That is a strange position in this era of globalization, which Obama claims to favor. Romney, a self-described champion of free enterprise, defended ... [click for more]

Trumping Protectionism

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Although he’s no longer a contender for the 2012 Republican nomination, Donald Trump’s short-lived proto-campaign was notable for its extreme China-bashing. Because such mercantilist and xenophobic sentiments may get only worse as the economy slumps along, it’s worthwhile to point out exactly why Trump’s proclamations made little sense and in fact were internally contradictory. At the height of his popularity ... [click for more]

Managed Trade Is Not Free Trade

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As libertarians have long pointed out, trade agreements like the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and organizations like the World Trade Organization (WTO) are not free-trade agreements and organizations. Rather, they are managed-trade agreements and organizations that abdicate power to an international body, and in direct violation of the Constitution. As Congressman Ron Paul stated, We don’t need government ... [click for more]
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