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Continuing My Open Correspondence with the Cronyist-in-Chief

23 January 2018

Mr. Donald Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC  20500

Mr. Trump:

Justifying your decision to punitively tax Americans who buy washing machines made outside of the United States and Canada, you boast that because of your actions “[t]he United States will not be taken advantage of anymore.

Answer me this: how exactly is the United States being “taken advantage of” when foreign producers offer to sell to us Americans products at prices that we find attractive – that is, at prices that increase our purchasing power?  When you buy a shirt or a car or a house or a golf course, are you “taken advantage of” by sellers who offer to you deals that you find attractive?  Would you consider yourself blessed if, in your dealings, a third-party forcibly extracted from you, each time you took advantage of an attractive deal, a punitive fine?  If not, what mysterious process converts your extracting punitive fines from me and countless other American consumers into a blessing for us when we take advantage of attractive deals?

Sir, it isn’t foreign sellers who are taking advantage of Americans.  That grimy distinction belongs to you and your crony and cowardly domestic producers whom you shield from competition.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030