Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Congressional Issues 2012

The 113th Congress should

  • recognize that the relative openness of American markets is an important source of our economic vitality and that remaining trade barriers are a drag on growth and prosperity;
  • move the focus of U.S. trade policy away from "reciprocity" and "level playing fields" toward commitment here and abroad to free-trade principles;
  • take unilateral action to reform U.S. protectionist policies;
  • avoid using trade deficits as an excuse for trade restrictions;
  • reform the antidumping law, unilaterally and through WTO regulations, to eliminate unfair discrimination against U.S. businesses and consumers that buy foreign products; and
  • adjust export control laws to the reality of today’s international marketplace

Why Trade is Important  |  How to Create Free Trade

Why Trade is Important

Why We Trade
Peace On Earth, Free Trade For Men

How to Create Free Trade

Kevin Craig favors Free Trade. "Free Trade" is created by abolishing government restrictions on trade, not by forming new global government agencies which override local interests and sovereignty.

Somin on Gary Johnson and Ron Paul: A Reply | The Libertarian Standard
Anyone who knows about Ron Paul’s policy positions would be shocked to find this on the list of his deviations from libertarianism. Doesn’t Paul support complete, unrestricted free trade? Has he not always advocated this? Yes, and Somin admits as much in his 2007 article. But this is apparently not enough. Instead, Paul’s libertarian credentials are called into question due to his opposition to “free trade agreements.” These, Somin argues, must be supported because they are better than the status quo. But is this true? Somin fails to address Paul’s arguments that these are not “free trade agreements” at all – but that they are instead managed trade agreements. Instead, he merely dismisses Paul’s refusal to support NAFTA and similar agreements as some misguided focus on libertarian purity and perfection as the enemy of the good. But this is not so. As Murray Rothbard explained many times, managed trade agreements like NAFTA are not a step toward freedom, but rather an extension of government controls. So much for that.
Clarification: The word "extension" can mean "manifestation" or "expansion." One could argue that trade agreements are certainly a manifestation of government controls, but not an expansion of government controls, but rather an agreement between two governments that their controls are reducing trade and thereby reducing tax revenue. Such a trade agreement could be a pragmatic reduction of government control, while government still asserts jurisdiction over trade.

The Myth of the "Trade Deficit"

Where was your iPod made?

$163 of the iPod’s $299 retail value in the United States was captured by American companies and workers, breaking it down to $75 for distribution and retail costs, $80 to Apple, and $8 to various domestic component makers. Japan contributed about $26 to the value added (mostly via the Toshiba disk drive), while Korea contributed less than $1.

The unaccounted-for parts and labor costs involved in making the iPod came to about $110. The authors hope to assign those labor costs to the appropriate countries, but as the hard drive example illustrates, that’s not so easy to do.

This value added calculation illustrates the futility of summarizing such a complex manufacturing process by using conventional trade statistics. Even though Chinese workers contribute only about 1 percent of the value of the iPod, the export of a finished iPod to the United States directly contributes about $150 to our bilateral trade deficit with the Chinese.

next: Trade Sanctions