Expanding Trade Freedom
When people are free to buy from, sell to, and invest with one another as they choose, they can achieve far more than when governments attempt to control economic decisions. Widening the circle of people with whom we transact - including across political borders - brings benefits to consumers in the form of lower prices, greater variety, and better quality, and it allows companies to reap the benefits of innovation, specialization, and economies of scale that larger markets bring. Trade freedom is essential to prosperity, and expanding free markets as much as possible enhances that prosperity.
U.S. trade policy is at a crossroads. The post–World War II, bipartisan, pro-trade consensus, which had been showing signs of fray and fissure during the past decade, appears to have collapsed entirely during the last Congress. A continuous stream of anti-trade rhetoric, an American public in fear of international trade and globalization, completed trade agreements left in limbo, and the introduction of dozens of antagonistic trade bills are among the challenges the pro-growth movement are constantly fighting against.
Unless Congress takes real steps to rebuild the consensus that has been crucial to U.S. economic vitality and rising living standards for six decades, history likely will view this period as a tippong point on trade policy for reasons America will regret.
- Enact implementing legislation for market-opening import export trade agreements and restore trade promotion authority to the executive branch
- Take unilateral action to repeal the remaining protectionist policies and trade barriers that are a drag on growth and prosperity.
- Ensure that the costs of physically moving goods into, out of, and around the United States are not unduly burdensome.