Ports: The Backbone of Global Trade

Ports: The Backbone of Global Trade

Seaports are a fundamental part of global trade. In 2017, seaports in the United States handled roughly 42 percent of all trade in goods, worth a total of $1.6 trillion. Ports generate jobs, enable exporters to reach markets overseas, and give consumers access to competitive foreign goods.

Reframing the Trade Debate

Reframing the Trade Debate

There is no question that the president has reframed the debate on trade in the United States. As I have said many times, after 30 years below the fold in the business section (for you, millennials, that’s a reference to old-fashioned newspapers), trade is now on the front page every day. As it turns out, that has had both good and bad consequences.

What is Dumping?

What is Dumping?

Being subject to dumping can cause some serious harm and lead to intense fights – and no, we’re not talking about the latest celebrity breakup. In the context of trade, politicians will often blame other countries for “dumping” products into the United States. What are they talking about and, how can companies and the government respond to dumping? Well, like any big breakup, it’s complicated. Watch this video with Trade Guy Bill Reinsch to find out more.

A 21st Century Trade War

A 21st Century Trade War

The Trump administration has launched an unparalleled trade war with enemies and allies alike. But it’s been generations since our last true trade war. So how will this play out in our modern age, and what are the stakes?

Aren’t We All Free Traders?

Aren’t We All Free Traders?

Most politicians say they are free traders, but disagree over how to achieve free trade. The president's actions and statements have called into question whether he is indeed a free trader, and whether his method of making trade freer will pay off.

Steel and Aluminum Tariffs: A Push and Pull between the President and Congress

Steel and Aluminum Tariffs: A Push and Pull between the President and Congress

President Trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs and his threat to put tariffs on automobiles and parts under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 have generated anxiety on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers have expressed concern about the economic impact of the tariffs as well as the legal foundation for them.  Some have suggested reining in the president's tariff authority. What has been proposed, what are the chances meaningful action is taken, and is it a good idea for Congress to take back trade authority from the president?

NAFTA: Milking It for All It’s Worth

NAFTA: Milking It for All It’s Worth

President Trump has made it a priority to pry open Canada’s managed dairy market in order to boost U.S. exports of milk, eggs, butter, cheese, and other products north across the border. In response, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to protect the Canadian dairy industry.

So, What Just Happened?

So, What Just Happened?

What happened with NAFTA last week? The United States and Canada did not reach agreement; the administration notified Congress anyway of its intent to sign an agreement, at least with Mexico and perhaps with Canada later; the parties said surprisingly nice things about each other (except for our president who was rude as usual) and agreed to meet again this week. So, what does it all mean?

The Cost of Leaving Canada Behind

The Cost of Leaving Canada Behind

The Trump administration announced that it had reached a bilateral trade agreement in principle Mexico and pledged to move forward with it regardless of whether Canada joins, potentially upending commercial relations with its top trading partner. What would a trade deal without Canada look like by the numbers?

Westward Ho!

Westward Ho!

With our unemployment rate low, employers are having more and more difficulty filling jobs. A more mobile working-age population would partially address that problem. So, why don’t we move as much as we used to?

NAFTA or  U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement?

NAFTA or U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement?

What’s in the U.S.-Mexico agreement and what issues still have to be worked out between the three countries? Is the U.S. headed for a breakup with its northern neighbor or a closer relationship?

Do auto imports drive auto jobs?

Do auto imports drive auto jobs?

Increased imports of autos and auto parts doesn't actually correlate to a decline in U.S. auto manufacturing jobs or auto dealership jobs. In fact, over the past decade, U.S. jobs in both of those parts of the auto sector have grown while imports of autos and auto parts have expanded.

Talking Turkey and Taking Stock

Talking Turkey and Taking Stock

This week’s title and topic are just too easy. Indeed, Scott and I used the first half of it last week for our Trade Guys podcast. The case of Turkey does, however, demand a bit more attention than Scott and I gave it. This column will look at it primarily from a trade and geopolitical perspective.

Trade and Wages

Trade and Wages

One eternal element of the debate on trade policy is blame. Bad things are happening in our economy. Is trade responsible for them? Trade skeptics say “yes”—trade promotes a race to the bottom. Free traders say “no”—trade is a scapegoat for a lot of other things that are going on.

The U.S.-China trade fight

The U.S.-China trade fight

President Trump in March announced that his administration would impose tariffs on Chinese imports of that value. So far, China has responded with tariffs on an equivalent amount of U.S. goods. But the U.S.-China trade balance has made it impossible for China to keep up the tit-for-tat tariff exchange.

Whither, or Wither, WTO?

Whither, or Wither, WTO?

WTO negotiations have all but ground to a halt while countries flout their obligations. U.S. tariffs on steel, aluminum, and imports from China have put additional pressure on the WTO’s rules and relevancy.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

The Emperor’s New Clothes

President Trump stormed into the Oval Office promising to tear up old trade deals and replace them with improved agreements. But so far, he has little to show for his fiery rhetoric about Americans being ripped off.

Is Anybody Fighting Back?

Is Anybody Fighting Back?

As tariffs begin to stack up and the prospect of higher prices for consumers comes hurtling closer, the question of “Why isn’t anybody doing anything about” gets asked more and more. There is more than one answer to that question.

China: The Dust Never Settles

China: The Dust Never Settles

The U.S.-China trade battle appears to have no end in sight. The Trump administration appears to want it all from China: market access concessions, a reduction in the trade deficit, and significant internal Chinese reforms.

Lost in the 1980s on Trade

Lost in the 1980s on Trade

Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. Trade Representative, is dusting off his playbook from the 80s. The trade policy veteran, who served as a deputy in the Reagan administration, is seeking negotiated steel and aluminum quotas and has made his skepticism of the World Trade Organization no secret.