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“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.

August 11, 2020

Coalition Letter Opposing President Donald Trump's Recent "Most Favored Nation" Executive Order

In a coalition letter the signers urge President Trump to apply the same successful, deregulatory, market-based approach that he has championed in other policy areas to health care.

July 14, 2020

Joe Biden's 'Buy American or Else' Proposal

Democrats have long criticized President Trumps' economic policies, yet Joe Biden is now plagiarizing some of them—and making them worse. 

June 24, 2020

The Changing Face of Trade

The U.S. post-war consensus on free trade is evaporating, and it's not clear what's replacing it.

May 30, 2020

Bring American Medical Manufacturing Back Home

Important legislation has been proposed that would encourage medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing to relocate to the U.S. by providing potent tax incentives instead of threats of government force.

May 13, 2020

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.

April 7, 2020

Coalition Letter Regarding the Proposed "Buy American" Mandate

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.

April 3, 2020

Pandemic-induced Protectionism Endangers Lives

The pandemic has demonstrated the need for more diversity in the pharmaceutical supply chain, not less.

February 11, 2020

Two Cheers for Trump's Budget and a Big Boo for Democrats' Response

A step-in-the-right-direction budget—if the reality matches the rhetoric, which it often doesn't.

January 15, 2020

A Balanced Assessment of the U.S.- China Trade Deal

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. 

August 20, 2019

The Recession Threat Is Real

President Trump and administration officials are downplaying fears of a recession. While a recession isn't imminent, the threat is very real. 

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