“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.
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President Xi Jinping should propose the same deal Trump has offered to other U.S. trading partners.
Referring to a possible cutoff of Mideast oil, Merrill Matthews, resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas, Texas, said the good news is that the United States has the resources and the ability to fill the gap, and rising crude oil prices could serve as the catalyst to do so.