By any reasonable measure, Americans are better off now than during comparable periods in the past, and expanding engagement in the global economy has played an important role in the ongoing, upward trend in American employment and living standards. To promote further progress for American workers and households, Congress and the administration should pursue policies that expand the freedom of Americans to participate in global markets.

More on General U.S. Trade Policy


Are Free Trade’s Best Days Behind Us?

By Simon Lester. Reason. July 15, 2019.

Customs Fraud Is Thriving Thanks to Trump’s Trade War

By Daniel J. Ikenson. The Hill (Online). June 12, 2019.

China’s U.S. Debt Portfolio Will Not Be Weaponized for the Trade War

By Daniel J. Ikenson. May 22, 2019.

Cato Studies

Debunking Protectionist Myths: Free Trade, the Developing World, and Prosperity

By Arvind Panagariya. Economic Development Bulletin No. 31. July 18, 2019.

Closing Pandora’s Box: The Growing Abuse of the National Security Rationale for Restricting Trade

By Simon Lester and Huan Zhu. Policy Analysis No. 874. June 25, 2019.

Macroeconomic Consequences of Tariffs

By Davide Furceri, Swarnali A. Hannan, Jonathan D. Ostry, & Andrew K. Rose. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 166. June 5, 2019.


Safeguarding Policy Space in Investment Agreements

Simon Lester and Bryan Mercurio. IIEL Issue Brief. December 2017.

Addressing Regulatory Trade Barriers in Mega-Regional Trade Agreements

Simon Lester and Inu Manak. Mega-Regional Trade Agreements. July 21, 2017.

The Jones Act in Perspective: A Survey of Costs and Effects of the 1920 Merchant Marine Act

Russ Kashian, Jeff Pagel, and Ike Brannon. Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. April 2017.

Public Filings

Perspectives on the Export-Import Bank of the United States

By Daniel J. Ikenson. Testimony. June 2, 2015.

Trade Promotion Agencies and U.S. Foreign Policy

By Daniel J. Ikenson. Testimony. May 19, 2015.

Horne v. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

By Steffen N. Johnson, Eimeric Reig-Pleissis, Christopher E. Mills, Ilya Shapiro, & Trevor Burrus. Legal Briefs. October 8, 2014.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Cato Makes Free Trade Go Viral

Policy Report. May/June 2018.

How’s Your Trade War Going?

Pierre Lemieux. Regulation. Summer 2018.

Brain-Focused Economics: More Than Just Comparative Advantage

Richard B. McKenzie. Regulation. Summer 2018.


The Jones Act: Charting a New Course after a Century of Failure

Featuring Daniel Griswold, Colin Grabow, Manuel Reyes, Bryan Riley, James W. Coleman, Jennifer Danner Riccardi, Ted Loch-Temzelides, Daniel J. Ikenson, Steve Ellis, Nick Loris, Robert Quartel, Christopher A. Preble, Keliʻi Akina, Thomas Grennes, Howard Gutman, Michael Hansen, Inu Manak, George Landrith, & Brett Fortnam. December 6, 2018. Conference.

#CatoConnects: NAFTA and the Trump Tariffs

Featuring Simon Lester, Inu Manak, and Caleb O. Brown. March 14, 2018. Cato Connects.

Clashing over Commerce: A History of U.S. Trade Policy

Featuring Douglas Irwin, Claude E. Barfield, and Daniel J. Ikenson. January 24, 2018. Book Forum.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Agricultural Subsidies

By Chris Edwards. October 2016.

Ending the Import-Export Bank

By Sallie James. October 2012.

Agricultural Regulations and Trade Barriers

By Chris Edwards. June 2009.