There has been no boost in trade freedom over the last year, according to the forthcoming 2013 Index of Economic Freedom.

The global level of economic freedom rose steadily for 15 years, according to the Index, which Heritage publishes annually with the Wall Street Journal. Since 2011, however, economic freedom has stalled at a score of 74.5 out of 100. The United States recently fell from the ranks of free countries and is now classified as “mostly free.”

The Heritage Foundation’s Bryan Riley and Ambassador Terry Miller explain that increased economic freedom improves prosperity. In mathematical terms, it might look like this:

Fewer trade barriers = increased trade = more competitive markets = stronger economies, less hunger, and better treatment of the environment

Congress can promote both economic growth and economic freedom by:

  • Reducing tariffs on imported shoes and clothing
  • Ending restrictions on sugar imports
  • Stopping job-killing anti-dumping laws
  • Reversing “Buy American” laws
  • Ending the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 and the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886

As a leader of the free world, do you think the United States should be satisfied with the current global level of economic freedom?

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