Author Archives | Ian Fletcher

Ian Fletcher is Senior Economist of the Coalition for a Prosperous America, a nationwide grass-roots organization dedicated to fixing America’s trade policies and comprising representatives from business, agriculture, and labor. He was previously Research Fellow at the U.S. Business and Industry Council, a Washington think tank founded in 1933 and before that, an economist in private practice serving mainly hedge funds and private equity firms. Educated at Columbia University and the University of Chicago, he lives in San Francisco.

Ian regularly writes blog posts on trade in popular online publications.  His blogs can be read at The Huffington Post and Seeking Alpha.

Ian's writings do not necessarily represent the views of the Coalition for a Prosperous America.

The Ignorance of the Professors: the Case of Ron Boudreaux

Like most academics, professors of economics are not generally stupid people, IQ-wise.  But they do have a remarkable ability to lose sight of basic  realities. I’ve seen this over and over again. I just had an extended e-mail exchange with one Ron Boudreaux, a professor of economics at George Mason…

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The Fiscal Cliff and the Trade Deficit

First, let’s get the definitions straight, as confusion about definitions is the single biggest avoidable cause of economic nonsense. The trade deficit measures how much America’s imports exceed its exports. The federal deficit measures how much America’s government’s expenditures exceed its revenues. The cure for a trade deficit, for the…

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A 2012 Election Fable

Once upon a time there was a republic. Like many republics before and since, it was immensely proud that it was not ruled by a king. Long ago, in fact, the citizens of the republic had overthrown a king and sent him packing. The republic, like many other republics before…

Posted in Politics2 Comments

A Worthwhile Independent for Congress

[Editors Note: CPA does not endorse candidate.  The views of Ian Fletcher are his own.] I want to ignore the big election for a minute and focus on one congressional race in Colorado. This is a race that’s more important than most people realize, because it examples one of the…

Posted in Politics5 Comments

Obama and Romney on China: Who’s Lying?

Obama and Romney on China: Who’s Lying? Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have both been upping the ante on international trade issues lately, especially America’s big trade flashpoint, China. Romney recently picked up an unintended reverse endorsement, of a sort, from the Club for Growth, a millionaires’ club super PAC…

Posted in China, Trade6 Comments

Does Romney Mean it on Trade?

Mitt Romney certainly has been making some pleasant noises about fixing America’s trade mess, in which a $500 billion a year deficit is probably the biggest unsung reason our economy isn’t turning around. But does he really mean what he says? I’ve looked at the evidence here, here, here and most recently here. In reaction…

Posted in Fletcher, Politics, Trade4 Comments

What’s Romney Really Up To? Softball Nationalism

In my 2010 book “Free Trade Doesn’t Work,” I speculated that the following might occur: Both political parties are feeling the heat of an intensifying global economic challenge to the U.S. and are looking for ways to take the pressure off their voters Withdrawing from free trade (to an as…

Posted in Politics, Trade26 Comments

Power Politics vs. American Prosperity

Reposted from the Huffington Post ***** Power Politics vs. American Prosperity I had one of those “A-ha!” moments recently. I was engaged in an email dialogue with a moderately prominent individual active in America’s international trade relations. He’s a former high-ranking public official, important enough to matter but not a…

Posted in Economy27 Comments

Leak Cracks Open Trans-Pacific Partnership Scandal

Leak Cracks Open Trans-Pacific Partnership Scandal Obama was warned, frankly, about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Given his status as a center-left president, the public’s burgeoning disapproval of free-trade agreements, and the fact that he criticized such agreements when President Bush made them, he really should have known that such treaties were not for…

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A National Network for Manufacturing Innovation?

Reposted from the Huffington Post ***** A National Network for Manufacturing Innovation? Ian Fletcher  |  May 2, 2012  |  Huffington Post It’s no secret American manufacturing is in crisis, and that its problems form a significant component of our present economic mess. I’ve written before about how the Obama administration may (may!)…

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Ian Fletcher’s: “The Conservative Case Against Free Trade”

Ian Fletcher’s “Free Trade Doesn’t Work”