Foreign Trade

Trade and Investment Are Not a Balancing Act

from CATO,

he trade deficit is the amount by which the value of a country’s imports exceeds the value of its exports during a given period, such as one calendar year or quarter. It is a commonly misunderstood concept that inspires harmful economic policies, such as proposals that a country “balance” its imports and exports by taxing international capital flows. Supporters of this policy hope to shrink the trade deficit (i.e., to balance imports and exports) by taxing the capital surplus that goes along with a trade deficit in the balance‐​of‐​payments framework. In the United States, senators Tammy Baldwin (D‑WI) and Josh Hawley (R‑MO) authored a 2019 bill to do this and, though it died in the Senate Banking Committee, similar legislation may appear in the future. This kind of policy is highly flawed on theoretical, empirical, and practical grounds.

More From CATO:

365 Days Page
Comment ( 0 )