Was Buenos Aires the Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning? The Future of the World Trade Organization

In all too many minds, the relevance of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is much in doubt. The failure of the 11th Ministerial Conference of the WTO last December in Buenos Aires to complete any new multilateral or other agreements has left many wondering if this is the beginning of the end for the WTO. In a new paper, Cato scholar James Bacchus argues that there are clear signs on several fronts that this is the end of the beginning — and not the beginning of the end — for the World Trade Organization.

Trump’s Tariff Fight: Why American Households Will Be the Losers

In January, President Trump announced that he is imposing customs tariffs of up to 50% on imported residential washing machines and 30% on solar panels and modules. In March, he announced 25% tariffs on imported steel and 10% tariffs on imported aluminum. In the new issue of Regulation magazine, Pierre Lemieux explains how, by imposing “safeguard” tariffs, President Trump has delivered corporate welfare at the expense of Americans.

No One Wins a Trade War

President Trump last week announced his intention to impose 25% tariffs on imported steel and 10% tariffs on imported aluminum. The implementation of these tariffs would carry grave risks for the international trading system. According to Cato scholar Colin Grabow, “Tariff increases would amount to throwing a monkey wrench into an economic machine that is nicely humming along. …Should President Trump opt to pull the trigger on his tariff threats, leaders in Congress will need to act and reassert their authority over trade policy.”

Cato Studies

Of Special Note

It’s Time to Negotiate a New Economic Relationship with China

It’s Time to Negotiate a New Economic Relationship with China

As China’s economic power has increased, so has criticism of its market-distorting economic practices. The U.S. government has brought international trade complaints against China and used unilateral actions and threats, but U.S. businesses are unsatisfied with the results. In a new paper, Cato scholars Simon Lester and Huan Zhu argue that an overly aggressive approach runs the risk of a serious U.S.-China trade war, and instead, the United States should initiate formal negotiations on a trade agreement with China.

Trade Politics

Withdrawing from TPP Was a Senseless Act of Wanton Destruction

Demonstrating his preference for action over reason, President Trump signed an executive order to officially withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. On the one hand, it’s refreshing to witness the rare act of a politician fulfilling a campaign pledge. On the other hand, there is nothing else good about it.

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From the Cato Institute’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, the Cato Trade Newsletter is a periodic email featuring trade policy news, commentary, and resources from a free-trade perspective.

Free Trade, Free Markets: Rating the Congress

Free Trade, Free Markets: Rating the Congress

This interactive web site allows users to examine how Congress and its individual members have voted over the years on bills and amendments affecting the freedom of Americans to trade and invest in the global economy. The web site includes votes previously examined in a series of Cato studies published from 1999 through 2005, as well as more recent votes.