Protectionism Is a Protection Racket

by Don Boudreaux on January 4, 2018

in Crony Capitalism, Trade

Today’s New York Times, in a report on Trump’s trade policies, says that

In 2018, Mr. Trump will have several opportunities to punish foreign rivals….

As my Mercatus Center colleague Christine McDaniel notes in an e-mail to me, what this statement really means is that in 2018, Mr. Trump will have several opportunities to use trade restrictions to punish American consumers, as well as American producers who use imports as inputs.  These American consumers and producers will be punished for having the audacity to spend their money in ways that they, rather than Trump and politically influential other American producers, believe best.

Protectionism is a protection racket.

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