“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.
Coalition Letter Regarding the Imposition of New Buy America Requirements for Medical Goods and Pharmaceutical Products
In this letter to the administration, economists from numerous organizations encourage the U.S. and its trading partners to pursue policies that make medical supplies more plentiful and affordable.
If implemented, a Buy American mandate would disrupt existing supply chains, invite retaliatory actions from trading partners, and threaten timely access to medicines. In this current health crisis, such a mandate could even threaten our ability to adequately respond to the pandemic.
The pandemic has demonstrated the need for more diversity in the pharmaceutical supply chain, not less.
A step-in-the-right-direction budget—if the reality matches the rhetoric, which it often doesn't.
One of the president's top trade advisors sees nothing but positives from imposing tariffs. A more balanced view sees some positives, but many negatives.
President Trump and administration officials are downplaying fears of a recession. While a recession isn't imminent, the threat is very real.
President Trump presumably wants to help the steel industry prosper. To do that, his administration needs to find an acceptable tariff exit strategy as quickly as possible.
The economy is doing well, just not as well as we thought—or hoped. If Trump plans to run for reelection on a record of strong economic growth, he needs to resolve some lingering issues.
President Trump is threatening to raise taxes on Americans. Again. That’s because tariffs are taxes, and they are paid by Americans, not by foreigners.
The Iranian government is rattling sabers once again. In years past those tensions would have sent world oil markets into a panic. Not so this time around.