Heritage Foundation on Free Trade



Ex-Im Bank is a slush fund for corporate welfare

The U.S. Export-Import Bank is little more than a slush fund for corporate welfare, and taxpayers are currently on the hook for $140 billion. Those taxpayers subsidies benefit massive corporations like Boeing, GE and Caterpillar and state-run companies in countries like China, Mexico and Saudi Arabia, but don't result in the creation of new American jobs. There are 31 open corruption and fraud investigations into the bank. Heritage Action opposes any reauthorization of the bank, which is set to expire on June 30, 2015.

Heritage Action recommends voting YES on killing the Kirk Amendment: a motion to table (i.e. kill) an amendment introduced by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.

Source: Heritage Action 2015-16 voting recommendation on Ex-Im Bank , May 1, 2015

Trade barriers blame other countries but don't help recovery

    Recommendations on trade policy:
  1. Resist pressure to erect new trade barriers. Facing persistently high unemployment and a stagnant economy, some politicians may attempt to blame other countries for these problems and demand higher tariffs. However, raising trade barriers will not help our economic recovery any better today than it did in 1930.
  2. Unilaterally reduce US trade barriers whenever possible. Programs should be expanded to include more categories of imports and extended on a long-term basis.
  3. Eliminate trade-distorting agricultural subsidies. U.S. farmers and livestock producers increasingly rely on access to fast-growing foreign markets. Decisions about what crops to plant and what livestock to raise should be made by farmers, not legislators. Barriers to imported agricultural products should be eliminated along with government subsidies that distort agricultural production.
Source: 2012 campaign website CandidateBriefing.com , Nov 1, 2012

Pursue NAFTA, WTO, TPP, and others

Source: 2012 campaign website CandidateBriefing.com , Nov 1, 2012

OpEd: Sullied hawkish views for sake of Chinese money

In an April 23 cover story, the New Republic ran an inflammatory article about Chao and McConnell entitled "Sullied Heritage: The Decline of Principles Conservative Hostility to China." The venerable liberal monthly cast the piece as a case study of how two conservative stalwarts--the Heritage Foundation and Mitch McConnell--had sold their respective political souls by moderating their formerly hawkish views for the sake of Chinese money that the Chao family had steered their way. [Wife of Mitch McConnell and Secretary of Labor] Elaine Chao's father, a shipping magnate, has supposedly cultivated, and benefited from, a relationship with his former classmate Jiang Zemin, who rose to become China's leader. The piece made several serious suggestions of impropriety, but provided little factual support or outright accusations of any wrongdoing.
Source: Republican Leader, by John Dyche, p.153 , Sep 15, 2010

Anti-dumping rules mean higher consumer prices

One of the pillars of the "fair trade" approach is a set of so-called antidumping and countervailing duty laws. Antidumping laws seek to prevent products manufactured overseas from being sold by foreign firms in the U.S. at "less than fair value." Countervailing duties seek to offset subsidies provided by foreign governments by imposing duties at the U.S. border.

The effect of these policies is anything but fair to U.S. consumers. The antidumping laws are confusing and arbitrary, and in many instances merely allow American firms to secure punitive tariffs against competing importers where no unfair trade practices are involved. Worse, these laws drive up the costs of imported components used by other American enterprises, making their products less competitive in world markets. As a result, American consumers pay higher prices for both imported and domestically produced goods, and American workers find fewer employment opportunities in less competitive American firms.

Source: Heritage Action voting recommendation on anti-dumping rules , Jul 21, 1992

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Page last updated: Apr 30, 2021