Hal Shapiro Argues for “Sensible” Free Trade Approach in National Law Journal Op-Ed
The National Law Journal has published “Deepening The Swamp: The New Mercantilism,” an opinion column written by Akin Gump international trade partner Hal Shapiro that calls for a new approach to free trade and regulation.
Shapiro, the chair of Akin Gump’s regulatory practice steering committee, writes that “targeting certain sectors or nations, such as Mexico, with prohibitive tariffs” and “pressuring companies to keep factories in the United States, which might require special benefits be given in exchange” is “fraught with problems [because] governments are not well-positioned to know which products or businesses deserve protection or aid.” He offers a different approach that he says will “position the United States to compete and prosper.” This includes:
- preparing American workers to adapt to an evolving marketplace with “more sharply honed skills” that are updated over time
- federal and state governments should resist the urge to subsidize certain businesses and instead use scarce money for investments that will lead to wide gains
- governments should update and enhance worker training and relocation programs
- the tax code and government programs need to be simplified
Concluding, Shapiro writes that a bipartisan approach that advances American interests and “drains the swamp” will be necessary to enable the United States to compete in a way “that is good for employers, employees, and consumers alike.”
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