Monday, August 15, 2016

An Exchange with Dan Ikenson, Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute

This tweet exchange just took place over this post, Horrific Support by Cato for the Trans-Pacific Partnership:


  1. Certainly your last paragraph in the original post is fair comment. Back in the day, CEI was the libertarian Washington group delegated with the task of criticizing managed trade, while Cato always endorsed whatever was in the cards "on balance." I wonder if that is still the case.

  2. I interviewed CEI about TPP two-plus years ago. They endorsed as well. The view was that on whole the TPP was a net-positive even though free trade is better than managed trade. CEI has (or had) someone working with the US Trade advisory committee.

    The explanation was that hey, this removes 11,000 tariffs and reduces regulations and greatly opens trade and if the US wasn't involved then US businesses would miss out.

    However, both Cato and CEI are very aware of the cronyism and new regulations that have nothing to do with trade. For example, the US wants some of these impoverished countries to create their own version of the EPA and stricter labor regulations.