In his recent commentary, Congressman Devin Nunes (R–CA) penned a bold foreign policy idea that is based on advancing economic freedom:

It’s time to try a new approach to foreign policy—creating an alliance of free-trading nations.… This alliance of free-trading nations will welcome any nation that wants close relations with the United States, setting clear, universal criteria for our friendship: a commitment to free trade and the rule of law. It will encourage a host of potential allies to embrace economic freedom and engage in mutually beneficial commerce.… To guide America toward this new partnership, I have introduced in Congress the Economic Freedom Alliance Act.

In fact, The Heritage Foundation has long advocated the formation of such an economic-freedom-based alliance, which would require America’s strong leadership. For example, in his book Liberty’s Best Hope: American Leadership for the 21st Century, Heritage Foundation Vice President Kim Holmes highlighted the need to build coalitions of countries that are committed to economic freedom. He has suggested a common alliance of liberty through a “Global Economic Freedom Forum” and a “Liberty Forum for Human Rights” that would enshrine the powerful interplay of economic freedom, human rights, and political freedom.

As The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom has shown, it is the compelling force of advancing economic freedom that empowers people, unleashes powerful forces of choice and opportunity, and nourishes other liberties. Economic freedom, by providing more fertile ground for effective and democratic governance, ultimately nurtures political reform as well.

Today’s world needs to be re-mobilized behind economic freedom more effectively, and it needs to strongly confront those who advocate ideologies of repression and extremism. It is time to act to advance economic freedom. The U.S. should not shy away from stressing freedom as a liberating moral force and the foundation of America’s leadership for the future.