“Power-Based” Bargaining Over Trade: What Has Been the Economic Cost?

The U.S.-China trade war represents a natural experiment in the sense that we have not seen such wide-ranging increases in tariffs since the 1930s, when Congress passed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act (Bown and Zhang, 2019).  Not surprisingly, applied trade economists…

“Power-Based” Bargaining Over Trade: Myopic Behavior by the United States?

Analysis of the current administration’s trade policy choices has typically interpreted them in terms of a zero-sum game, i.e., rather than generating mutual benefits in a positive-sum game, international trade is a game where economically, one country is a winner…

The U.S.-China trade war: why not go back to the WTO?

Last week, bilateral trade talks in Washington D.C. ended with China inviting the U.S. to send a negotiating team to Beijing this month (The Guardian, January 31, 2019).  The headline news from the talks was that the Chinese delegation offered…

What does “reciprocity” in trade negotiations actually mean?

Among several issues raised by the Administration’s unfolding approach to trade policy, one really caught my eye last week when Representative Sean P. Duffy of Wisconsin proposed granting the President new executive powers to raise tariffs on U.S. imports, stating…

Do all economists agree that a Carbon Tax is the best way to address climate change?

Economist and former Chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, is circulating a letter signed by “27 Nobel Laureate economists, 3 other former Chairs of the Federal Reserve and 15 former Chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers” that claims…