Dear Sen. Sessions and Rep. Aderholt:
Due chiefly to your efforts, Congress will raise Americans’ cost of buying sleeping bags made in Bangladesh. The rationale for this tariff is explained by Rep. Aderholt: it “affects jobs right here in North Alabama and allows for companies like Exxel to return good paying jobs back to the United States.”
If promoting jobs in American plants that produce sleeping bags justifies a policy of restricting Americans’ freedom to take advantage of alternatives to purchasing American-made sleeping bags, your policy doesn’t go far enough. Why not also slap a tariff on sleeping bags borrowed from friends? Why not also prohibit the use of sleeping bags that are more than three-months old? (You can sell this prohibition not only as a jobs-creator, but also as a means of protecting Americans’ – especially American children’s – health and safety. Only Wingnuts would object to that goal!) Indeed, why not also tax Americans for every night they sleep indoors?
Imposing punitive tariffs on borrowed sleeping bags and on indoor sleeping, along with banning the use of months-old bags, unquestionably – according to your economics – “affects jobs … in North Alabama and allows for companies like Exxel to return good paying jobs back to the United States.”
So why only a tariff on foreign-made sleeping bags?
Given your evident principles, I must ask why you pursue them so timidly?
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030