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“A car tariff would hurt consumers, the auto industry, and the nation” – so argues my Mercatus Center colleague Dan Griswold. A slice:

And who benefits most from the competition from motor vehicle imports? Millions of American households. Because of imports, motor vehicles today are safer, more reliable, and more comfortable than past models, and come loaded with the latest high tech features. And the average quality-adjusted price for new vehicles sold in the United States hasn’t budged in the past 20 years.

Also on Trump’s asinine proposal to impose punitive taxes on Americans who buy automobiles assembled outside of the United States is Pierre Lemieux.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy correctly and rightly describes the Trump administration’s machinations on trade as “ignorant.” A slice:

Bilateral trade deficits don’t have any economic relevance. The world is made of more than two countries, so it would be shocking, rather than normal, if each pair of countries has “balanced” trade. (If you still aren’t convinced, you may want to read this superb piece by Bob Higgs.) It is also almost impossible to determine the particular factors that cause a bilateral trade deficit to change directions.

One last thought. While Trump and his protectionist acolytes spend a great deal of time talking about the trade deficit with China as evidence that some great corrective measures are needed, I wonder why he is silent about the many countries with which we have a trade surplus.

George Will remembers one of the few U.S. presidents who possessed a rare qualification for that political office, namely, not really wanting it.

Alice Calder and Anne Hobson are unimpressed with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Jeff Jacoby wisely argues that we Americans will not be enriched by falling birth rates.

Barry Brownstein applauds the fact that free markets make people less narrowly selfish.

My colleague Pete Boettke writes about the open-endedness of the classical-liberal project.

Colin Grabow explains that among the happy consequences of scraping the Jones Act would be lower gasoline prices.