Most G20 Countries Aren’t Economically Free. The US Can Help Change That.

much of the focus at this weekend’s G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, will be on the
U.S-China impasse on trade and other issues, more attention should be paid to
the sorry record that most G20 countries have when it comes to economic

Each year, The Heritage Foundation ranks countries according to their levels of economic freedom, a score composed of multiple factors like the rule of law, tax rates, and more. According to this year’s report, 12 of the G20 nations (not counting the European Union) rank as either “moderately free” or “mostly unfree.” That should be unacceptable for a group that styles itself as the world’s “premier forum for international economic cooperation.”

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the G20 organizers stress the importance of improving global governance, it’s
clear that the U.S. and the handful of other economically free G20 countries don’t
have much to learn from autocracies like China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and

international bureaucrats have morphed the G20 into a global version of the
administrative state swamp that President Donald Trump has been trying to drain
in Washington. They have plenty of ideas on how to spend your tax dollars on
the usual list of suspects: climate change, gender issues, and
government-centric economic development programs that are more than likely to

Still, there are some positive opportunities. This year, the Japanese hosts will be promoting a useful agreement to strengthen the protection of international data flows to advance digital commerce. Other areas where the G20 can make a positive difference include better global coordination among financial markets, finding creative ways to cut taxes and public spending, and reducing barriers to trade.

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as the leader of the free countries within the G20, should take the lead to
urge other, more restricted G20 countries to adopt policies that will encourage
greater economic freedom. They could start by mimicking his successful tax cuts
and regulatory reforms, which have spurred economic growth in the United States
since he took office.

strong U.S. leadership, the economically free countries of the G20 can begin helping
the less-free countries raise their economic freedom scores and open new
pathways toward greater global prosperity.

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