Tariffs, Wine, and Shoe Salesmen

On December 12, the United States Trade Representative announced plans to hike the tariffs on imports of certain European products as a result of the seemingly endless Boeing/Airbus dispute. Capitol Hill was immediately inundated with the usual panoply of hyperbolic claims that tariffs spell doom for {fill in the blank} industry on the target list.…

RIP AB

As of today, the WTO Appellate Body will be, at least temporarily, no more. The Trump Administration has strangled it by refusing to agree to appoint new members. This can be seen as an extension, albeit an extreme one, of positions taken in prior Administrations, including the Obama Administration.  This blog explains various ways the…

The WTO faces gridlock. What’s at stake?

The World Trade Organization’s dispute system was once lauded as an important advancement in trade law enforcement. Now it appears that the system’s legal backbone has been broken. If the dispute system cannot be salvaged from the current crisis, it’s worth asking: what do we lose? Answering that question means putting politics aside an taking…

Restoring FDR’s Vision for Global Trade

The following is an executive summary of a paper submitted to the Institute for Corporate Governance and Finance Conference A New Deal for a New Century: Making Our Economy Work for All.  Papers for the conference, including the full version of the summary below, can be found here.   Too often, the debate over trade devolves into tribalist…

The Myth of the Global “Free” Market

According to Politico, a “coalition of free-market advocacy, business and nonprofit groups is urging the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee to press forward on new legislation curbing the president’s tariff authority.” Ah, the siren song of the free market.  But does anyone really think the global trading system is characterized by “free” markets?  A…