“It is the maxim of every prudent master of a family, never to attempt to make at home what it will cost him more to make than to buy . . . . If a foreign country can supply us with a commodity cheaper than we ourselves can make it, better buy it of them with some part of the produce of our own industry, employed in a way in which we have some advantage.”
-Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 1776
IPI believes the United States should aggressively pursue trade liberalization, which includes a willingness to lower our own trade barriers even when other countries do not respond reciprocally. Ideally, those efforts include multilateral agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but bilateral agreements can also promote freer trade.
American consumers bear the brunt of the protectionist impulse through higher prices on consumer goods, and American workers are best served when liberalized trade policies facilitate the export of American products throughout the world. At a time when protectionist sentiments are growing, it is important to assert that the U.S. and its workers have nothing to fear from trade, and everything to gain.
Want to See What Protectionism Looks Like? Look at Steel
We don't have to turn to economic theory to see the problems with protective tariffs, we have real life examples.
Republicans Who Believe in 'Tax Gain Without the Pain'
Some Republicans have now decided that there is no downside to certain tax increases.
Are Countries with Trade Surpluses Economically Stronger?
If the president's goal is to increase U.S. manufacturing so that Americans are buying fewer foreign products and foreigners are buying more U.S.-made products, there is a right and wrong way to do it. And imposing import tariffs is the wrong way.
Let's Be Honest About Border Adjusted Taxes
We don’t know whether border adjustment taxes will end up as part of the final tax reform package, but the arguments merit honest debate.
Coalition Letter Regarding the Global Trade Accountability Act
Pass Tax Reform, Then an Import Tariff Only if Needed
The Trump tax reform plan would encourage companies to be bring their production to the U.S., likely mitigating any perceived need for imposing an import tariff.
The Future Of American Manufacturing Is High Tech, Not High Tariffs
If Trump focuses on these reforms, rather than punitive tariffs, he'll stand a good chance of rejuvenating American manufacturing.
The Fundamental Incoherence in Trump's Economic Policy
If the new Trump administration's tax reform efforts stimulate economic growth, it will ironically frustrate its ill-founded efforts to reduce trade deficits.
Exporting Oil and Natural Gas Will Import Economic Growth
President Barack Obama opened the door to exporting U.S. oil and natural gas; the Trump administration is likely to drive a tanker through it.
Lifting Energy Export Ban Fuels Our Economy
What could turn out to be President Obama's most effective economic policies only happened in the twilight of his presidency: ending the 40-year ban on U.S. crude oil exports and approving construction of terminals to export U.S. liquefied natural gas.
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