Some Trade Links

by Don Boudreaux on March 8, 2018

in Crony Capitalism, Energy, Myths and Fallacies, Seen and Unseen, Trade

In today’s Washington Post, Charles Koch takes a principled and profound stand against protectionism and the cronyism from which it is inseparable.  A slice:

Unfortunately, tariffs are not the only problem. Our entire economy is rife with cronyism, resulting in regulations and subsidies that are destroying competition, opportunity and innovation. Koch Industries benefits from many of these, as do many established companies, but we consistently work to eliminate them. We only support policies that are based on equality under the law and that help people improve their lives. This is why we successfully lobbied to end direct ethanol subsidies, despite being one of the largest ethanol producers in the United States. It is why we fought against the inclusion of a border adjustment tax in the tax-reform package, even though it would have greatly increased our profits by increasing costs to consumers.

George Will is rightly appalled by the cronyism, lies, and rank ignorance that fuel the Trump administration’s – and many other Republicans’ complicity in – taxing Americans who buy the likes of steel, aluminum, washing machines, and solar panels.  A slice:

But, then, invocations of “national security” can rationalize a multitude of sins. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says the sugar import quotas that enrich a few already rich Floridians are required for the United States’ “food security.” It will be desirable (because educational) if some nations retaliate for the steel and aluminum tariffs by imposing 25 percent tariffs on Florida citrus in the interest of “food security.”

Simon Lester calls on Trump to welcome a restarting of talks on the TTIP.

Alvaro Vargas Llosa reveals the ugly consequences of Trump’s trade war.

In this podcast, Antony Davies and James Harrigan explain the foolishness of protective tariffs.

Writing in the Washington Examiner, Mark Perry highlights yet another ill-consequence of Trump’s insistence on punitively taxing American purchases of steel and aluminum.

Caroline Baum is correct: the only ‘winners’ in Trump’s trade shenanigans are cronies.  A slice:

Why, this is crony capitalism of, by and for the crony capitalists!

That swamp Trump promised to drain reeks from algae, bacteria and fungus.


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