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Trump’s Asinine Protectionism

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Donald Trump is unjustifiably furious with Harley-Davidson for responding to tariffs in ways that any business in competitive markets must – namely, by minimizing its exposure to these government-imposed artificially higher costs (“Trump’s Motorcycle Club Revenge,” June 27). And he screeches like a banana-republic authoritarian when he threatens to impose additional punitive taxes on Harley.

Finally, Trump reveals his cluelessness about competitive business when he suggests that, in moving more production overseas, Harley will suffer because Harley’s “customers are already very angry at them.” Obviously, Harley believes that its customers would be even more angry with it if it charges the higher prices that it must charge were it not to escape as much as possible the higher costs created by Trump’s asinine protectionism.

If Harley’s customers are angry, that anger should be directed exclusively at Trump.

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


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