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In 2010, the United States ran a deficit of traded goods and services of almost exactly $500 billion. Of this, net imports of petroleum accounted for $265 billion. The nation currently consumes roughly nineteen million barrels of petroleum products per day, while producing around six million barrels of crude domestically. It's unlikely we'll close this gap even with increased domestic...

As the U.S. International Trade Commission's report, China: Effects of Intellectual Property Infringement and Indigenous Innovation Policies on the U.S. Economy, found, widespread infringement of music, films, entertainment software, books, and other copyrighted materials continues unabated in China, despite repeated government promises that China's government will curtail these practices....

Low PISA (Program of International Student Assessment) scores and other international metrics are often drawn upon to highlight the United States' lackluster standing in higher education rankings. However, what is not discussed often enough is that the U.S. education system isn't just poor--it's getting worse. Between 1999 and 2008 the number of college-aged adults (25-34) with tertiary...

A series of McKinsey Global Institute reports find that a lack of innovation and productivity growth in four critical sectors--education, health care, government, and national infrastructure--are holding back broader economic growth. McKinsey's 2009 report, The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America's Schools, finds that the educational achievement gap between the United States and...

Renewable energy is often touted as an important source of job creation. While this may be true, it turns out we're already behind the eight ball: as of 2009, the United States was already experiencing a roughly $4 billion per year trade deficit in renewable energy products. The vast majority of this deficit is driven by imports in wind and solar equipment like turbines, gearboxes, and...

Some of the most extensive monitoring of countries' use of trade-restrictive tariff and non-tariff barriers (NTBs) is being undertaken by the Global Trade Alert (GTA), which independently monitors protectionist practices that affect world trade. The Global Trade Alert catalogs countries' use of as many as twenty different forms of NTBs, compiling a database of over 2,000 such practices. NTBs...