Washington - The Republican Study Committee's Steering Committee adopted the following principles affirming the organization's longstanding commitment to free trade:
- Free trade underpins the economic foundations of our alliances and partnerships, directly furthering America’s national security interests while limiting the destructive reach of authoritarian powers.
- American consumers benefit from free trade through more choices and affordable goods, improving their standard of living and promoting global innovation.
- Tariffs on imported goods are a tax on American consumers and businesses.
- While certain tariffs can temporarily benefit producers, manufacturers tend to bear the burden of rising costs stemming from imposed tariffs.
- At least half of American imports are not finished products, but are instead input materials for U.S.-based manufacturers. Free trade reduces the cost of these input materials, thus reducing U.S.-based businesses’ production costs, which in turn promotes economic growth through additional investment in domestic jobs and manufacturing.
- Free trade and free markets have led to the greatest reduction in global poverty in the history of mankind.
- Government imposed barriers to materials, labor and capital are disruptive to modern supply chains and represents liberal central-planning in its worst, most arrogant form.
- While we strongly disagree with the imposition of punitive tariffs, we do believe that the federal government should aggressively protect American jobs and American manufacturers from the economic devastation caused by the unfair dumping of foreign goods into American markets and barriers to American products.
Background: The Republican Study Committee historically advocated for free trade including agreements such as NAFTA.