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Writing at The Hill, my Mercatus Center colleague Dan Griswold weighs in on the Trump administration’s proposal to cook the trade-deficit numbers by using what the Wall Street Journal correctly calls “single-entry trade bookkeeping.”  A slice from Dan’s essay:

Counting a transshipped good as an import but not an export would make as little sense as counting it as an export but not an import. It is both or neither. Its impact on the amount of goods in the domestic economy is effectively zero, with the import and export effectively cancelling each other out. The re-export of goods should not bother mercantilists, since the good is not consumed in the U.S. and, therefore, not threatening to displace competing domestic production.

The reality of trade is that even transshipments benefit the economy by creating opportunities to add value as a hub for global distribution and logistics. Hong Kong and Singapore have grown rich in large part because of their prominent roles as re-exporting nations.

And the title of Greg Mankiw’s blog post on this proposed accounting fraud says it all.

In my latest column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review I ponder the claim that politics is the art of the possible.

GMU Econ alum Ed Stringham reveals how markets improve the welfare of animals.

George Will is correct that “[t]he problems of state and local pensions are cumulatively huge.

Here’s Joshua Gans on the late Kenneth Arrow.  (HT Steve Landsburg)

Marty Zupan, Katherine Mangu-Ward, and Nick Gillespie.

Alan Reynolds busts yet another Trumpian myth about trade and trade deficits.


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