Protectionism is inherently immoral. In all cases, it unfairly benefits a small, targeted group at the expense of entire countries. It invites conflict between nations, reinforces nationalist ideas, and impoverishes everyone in the process. Not only is restricted international trade economic lunacy, but protectionism is wholly incompatible with justice, morality, and reason.
Donald Trump claims that raising barriers to trade is one of the things it will take to “Make America Great Again,” but he is wrong. Greatness—both of wealth and of moral character—comes from trade. And we have known this for a very long time.
Cato’s Dan Ikenson calls Trump’s wall plan disgraceful, belligerent, and disastrous . Dan is correct.