National economic statistics in a global economy are already suspect, even more so when we are talking about products that depend for their very existence on international supply chains. At this point in history, where trading relationships cover every nation and production structures are infinitely complex, such data literally make no sense.
We take for granted the miraculous ability technology has now given us to travel to and communicate with virtually any place on the planet in little or no time. Yet we allow governments and their bureaucracies to use their coercive powers to constrain us from having the full freedom to create, produce, trade, and travel to pursue our mutually beneficial purposes and cooperative plans to peacefully and productively make our lives better.
Talk of “our” balance of trade is talk of something that doesn’t really exist; it’s merely a figment of the imagination made to appear real by an accounting convention that has the name “trade balance.” Nevertheless, this fictitious creature is daily demagogued by those seeking to clear the way for protectionist interventions.
Either the president still doesn’t understand that American consumers pay a large chunk of these tariffs (and that these tariffs are bad for the overall U.S. economy) or he is truly proud to penalize Americans who buy foreign goods that he doesn’t approve of.
Want to become a champion of liberty? Eschew historicism. Be suspicious of grand millenarian eschatologies. Learn to love the little things in life. Celebrate every individual’s right to choose how they live their lives. Smile when you think of every box of chocolate given and received this February 14th.
My ideal is for each government to immediately abolish all tariffs and other trade restrictions, regardless of what any other government does or doesn’t do. That is, I fully support a policy of unilateral free trade.
The government shutdown should serve as a reminder of the dangers of all government regulation, especially when the regulators block the freedom to trade, promise to make exceptions, and then fail to perform at all.
List posited a conflict between the interests of commercial society and the interests of the nation as a whole.
No country grows prosperous by dampening its citizens’ incentives to improve their skills as workers.
Tragically, too few Republicans and market defenders have called out the Trump administration for itsterrible trade policies.
But because no one in a market economy is entitled to his or her particular source of income, whenever competition obliges producers to adjust to the demands of consumers, producers — while paying the costs of participating in a market economy — suffer nothing that ought to be described as losses.
It’s been a rough 2018 for those who support free trade across borders, but the Economic Policy Institute has unwittingly given us a lovely Christmas gift. While attempting to show how much the U.S. aluminum industry has benefited from the ten percent tariff imposed in March, it ends up demonstrating that even from an “American first” perspective, tariffs are money horribly spent.
For one thing, contrary to the administration's promise, unilaterally raising tariffs hasn't resulted in reduced foreign tariffs and better access to foreign markets for U.S. exporters. Instead, foreign tariffs have gone up, and threats of retaliation continue. That explains some of the drop in exports to China. But that’s not all that is at play here.
For China to crack down on its supposed violators of IP, import US law as its own, permit US courts to enforce it, and acquiesce to every other point demanded by the US, even if these impossibilities were possible, would end in making its economy less free, less productive, and more dangerous for free enterprise.
Do you desire the well-being of all peoples in the world? Free trade is a wonderful way to see this realized. Tariffs only end in spreading misery, a classic case of man’s inhumanity to man. The sooner the U.S. administration realizes this, the better off everyone will be.
The political and economic outlook undergirding the market order is often called individualism because of the central role of human volition in its unfolding. At the same time, this individualism creates a beautiful community of enterprise, one far more reliable, effective, and life-affirming that the false communities that politics assembles for us.
Here’s the thing about international trade. When it is interrupted, even if only in a limited way, it affects everything — not immediately, but over time. Costs of production rise. Consumer prices rise. Trade routes are lost. Supply chains are disrupted. Retaliation is inevitable because governments are in control, and this causes more negative effects.