The Global Mercantilist Index: A New Approach to Ranking Nations’ Trade Policies

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, 2014

59 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2017

See all articles by Michelle Wein

Michelle Wein

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Stephen J. Ezell

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Robert D. Atkinson

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Date Written: October 8, 2014

Abstract

Countries’ use of mercantilist policies in recent years has expanded dramatically, particularly in emerging economies such as Brazil, China, and India. These practices, such as forced technology transfer or local production as a condition of market access, intellectual property (IP) theft, compulsory licensing of IP, restrictions on cross-border data flows, and currency manipulation, all distort trade and investment and damage the global economy.

Collectively, these policies represent a major threat to the integrity of the global trading system and they demand a coherent and bold response from both free-trading nations such as the United States, as well as multilateral trade and development organizations, such as the World Bank, the WTO, and the United Nations. Despite this, many choose to turn a blind eye to mercantilism, for instance, the World Bank’s Temporary Trade Barriers Database 2013 Update asserts that protectionism may have peaked, and is now subsiding. ITIF refutes that claim, arguing that mercantilism is indeed still a major concern not only for the U.S. economy but for the entire global economy and trading system. It’s time the U.S. government and its like-minded trading partners get more serious about confronting mercantilism.

In order for the U.S. to take the lead in more effectively combating foreign mercantilism, it is time for Congress to provide the charge and the resources to the United States Trade Representative to develop an annual comprehensive ranking of nations’ mercantilist policies; in other words, a “Global Mercantilist Index”. ITIF's “Global Mercantilist Index” (GMI) uses a new comprehensive method to rank nations on mercantilist policies, while also proposing new policy tools to address the problem.

Keywords: mercantilism, global trade, World Bank, trade barriers, cross-border data flows, currency manipulation, innovation

Suggested Citation

Wein, Michelle and Ezell, Stephen J. and Atkinson, Robert D., The Global Mercantilist Index: A New Approach to Ranking Nations’ Trade Policies (October 8, 2014). Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3066870

Michelle Wein

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation ( email )

1101 K Street N.W.
Suite 610
Washington, DC 20005
United States
12024491351 (Phone)

Stephen J. Ezell (Contact Author)

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation ( email )

1101 K Street N.W.
Suite 610
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Robert D. Atkinson

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation ( email )

1101 K Street N.W.
Suite 610
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
26
Abstract Views
124
PlumX Metrics