Legislative Trade Agenda for 2020



Tori Smith, Rachael Wolpert and Riley Walters | The Heritage Foundation

The freedom of individuals to buy and sell with one another, without government intervention, is an essential component of a free society. That is why The Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of Economic Freedom measures trade freedom as one of its 12 indicators. Year after year, the Index shows that higher levels of trade freedom contribute to overall prosperity in the U.S. and around the world.

U.S. trade policy in recent years has not prioritized advancing trade freedom for Americans. Instead, the Trump Administration has erected new barriers through executive action or regulatory barriers within trade agreements. This trend cannot continue. It is crucial that the primary goal of U.S. trade policy is to eliminate barriers that restrict trade.

Congress has done little to exercise its authority over trade in recent years, allowing the executive branch to almost entirely dictate trade policy. This Backgrounder will highlight the laws and issues that Congress should evaluate and reform in 2020. Areas for congressional action are separated into two categories: rebalancing trade authority and eliminating tariffs. Advancing these policies will help to lower tariff and non-tariff barriers for Americans, as well as ensure that Congress has an active role in the execution of U.S. trade policy.

Legislative Trade Agenda for 2020

To view the full report, click here.