Following Dan’s and David’s recent posts on the trade deficit and its (ir)relevance, allow me to draw readers’ attention to the Economist’s “By Invitation” blog, where invited prominent economists debate topical economic issues.
One of their current questions is: Should governments take any steps to boost exports? That’s an important topic, and an especially timely one given the Obama administration’s ‘National Export Initiative,’ a five-year plan to double U.S. exports. All of us here at Cato’s trade center have previously expressed skepticism about the feasiblity and/or wisdom of that plan, and Dan Ikenson blogged earlier today about the administration’s apparent incoherence in pursuit of that goal.
The Economist’s debate talks about industrial policy and export promotion in the abstract, rather than the NEI per se, but I recommend checking it out. Scott Sumner and Laurence Kotlikoff make especially good sense.