BRYAN Riley is a full-time advocate for free trade through his research and writing for The Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. He brings years of experience in trade and economic issues to his role as Jay Van Andel senior analyst in trade policy.
Mr Riley works in Heritage’s Centre for International Trade and Economics and contributes to the Index of Economic Freedom, which the think-tank publishes annually in partnership with The Wall Street Journal. The 2011 edition measured 183 countries across 10 specific factors of economic freedom: The higher the score, the lower the level of government interference.
Mr Riley’s background includes management of grassroots campaigns in support of trade pacts such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, popularly known as NAFTA. When minivans became popular in the 1990s, for example, he helped defeat efforts to reclassify them as ‘cargo vehicles’ instead of ‘passenger vehicles’. The ‘cargo’ label would have subjected minivans and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to an import tax of 25 per cent.
Mr Riley, who joined Heritage in 2010, especially enjoys serving as a myth-buster who counters inaccurate, misleading misinformation which hoodwinks the public and undermines free trade.
He grew up in Manhattan, Kansas and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington.