The Kansas economy benefits greatly from foreign trade, and we should oppose restrictions on trade.
Bryan Riley of Heritage Foundation has contributed an extensive analysis of the benefits foreign trade brings to Kansas. Riley is Jay Van Andel Senior Policy Analyst in Trade Policy at Center for Trade and Economics (CTE).
Riley notes three ways that foreign trade benefits Kansas:
- Imports provide competitive products for Kansas consumers and manufacturers.
- Exports benefit Kansas farmers and aerospace workers.
- Foreign investment supports thousands of Kansas jobs.
He recommends: “The state’s congressional delegation can best advance the interests of Kansans by opposing protectionist policies and working to remove barriers to international trade and investment.” Specifically:
These benefits are threatened by U.S. trade barriers that protect politically well-connected companies from competition while driving up prices and threatening jobs in Kansas industries reliant on international trade.
The state’s congressional delegation can best advance the interests of Kansans by opposing protectionist policies and working to remove barriers to international trade and investment.
The danger to Kansas, and to the entire country, is that President-Elect Donald J. Trump campaigned on a platform of renegotiating trade agreements and imposing high tariffs if favorable agreements were not obtained. This is the opposite of free trade.
Concluding, Riley projects a bright future for Kansas — if trade increases:
Kansas is positioned to prosper from continued growth in trade with the rest of the world as trade barriers are reduced. Physical barriers, such as the limits imposed by canals and ports unable to handle modern cargo ships, and governmental barriers, like limits on shipping and the use of imported inputs, are falling across the globe. The state’s congressional delegation should take the lead in making sure that government-constructed impediments to trade and prosperity fall as well.
Riley’s paper at Heritage is Trade and Prosperity in the States: The Case of Kansas. He also appeared on WichitaLiberty.TV earlier this year to discuss trade and its importance. See WichitaLiberty.TV: Heritage Foundation’s Bryan Riley on free trade.