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My Mercatus Center colleagues Christine McDaniel and Veronique de Rugy make the case against the Trump administration’s proposal for including a sunset clause in NAFTA.

Marty Finkler busts some of the myths used to justify Trump’s punitive taxes on Americans who buy steel and aluminum.  (HT Anthony Onofreo)

Tom Grennes explains that the protectionist Jones Act makes Americans less safe.

Pierre Lemieux asks: “Whom does a protectionist measure hit?”  A slice:

Even as tariffs favor domestic producers, the harm they cause to consumers is larger. I give an example with the case of washing machines in an article in the Spring issue of Regulation. Generally, moreover, the favored producers are located in different regions than the harmed consumers (or purchasers). Protectionist measures harm some fellow citizens in order to respond to the rent-seeking of other fellow citizens. In 1872, Congressman Samuel Cox (D-NY) understood that. As he put it, protectionism steals from consumers somewhere in the country in order to give to producers elsewhere. He sarcastically declared (I borrow the quote from Douglas Irwin’s extraordinary history of foreign-trade policy in America):

Let us be to each other instruments of reciprocal rapine. Michigan steals on copper; Maine on lumber; Pennsylvania on iron; North Carolina on peanuts; Massachusetts on cotton goods; Connecticut on hair pins; New Jersey on spool thread; Louisiana on sugar, and so on. Why not let the gentleman from Maryland steal coal from them? True, but a comparative few get the benefit, and it comes out of the body of the people.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock summarizes some responses of government officials from around the world to Trump’s punitive taxes on Americans who buy imports.  Most of these “leaders” promise to escalate the assaulting, battering, and robbing of their own citizens in response to Trump’s escalation of Uncle Sam’s assaulting, battering, and robbing of Americans.  (Aliens from outer space looking for evidence of intelligent life on earth would, upon observing so-called “trade wars,” conclude that no such life exists on earth – at least not among humans.)

My GMU Econ colleague Alex Tabarrok pulls the curtain back on an alleged Iranian “cyberattack.

Joseph Epstein’s review, in the Wall Street Journal, of Steve Fraser’s new book (Class Matters) is splendid in oh so many ways.  A slice:

Now in his mid-70s, Mr. Fraser most likely looks back upon his life as one led in service to the ideal of the emancipation of the underclass. All his days he has been true to the vision of his youth, a vision at whose center has been a loathing of injustice and a longing for equality. If his thus far seems a lost cause, he doubtless is self-assured that it has been a noble one. If the utopia that was meant to be America by its early settlers has failed, my guess is that Mr. Fraser would argue this is no reason to eschew the dream of utopianism generally.

And pretty it would be to think so, but for the fact that so many utopias—in modern times notably the Russian and the Chinese and, on a lower level of human slaughter, the Cuban—have failed so disastrously. In the rubble of the tower of Babel, the first of humankind’s utopias, with its architectural plan to reach heaven from earth, the following two-line poem is said to have survived: “Those who in Elysian fields would dwell, / Do but extend the boundaries of hell.”