… is from page 102 of Pierre Lemieux’s superb, hot-off-the-press book, What’s Wrong With Protectionism?:
Protectionism is not so much directed against foreigners as against nationals who are prevented from importing the goods and services that they want on the best terms they can find. Supporting free markets and opposing international free trade is not a coherent position.
DBx: Indeed so. To proclaim support for free markets but opposition to a policy of unilateral free trade makes no more sense than to proclaim support for free markets but opposition to allowing free trade in goods and services sold by people shorter than six feet, or in goods that are yellow and in services the English-language names of which start with the letter “E”. Economically, political borders have no more relevance than does the height of suppliers, the color of the goods transacted, or the spelling of the names of goods and services.
Pierre’s new book is published under the auspices of the Mercatus Center, and was commissioned specifically by Mercatus’s Trade and Immigration Project (which I co-direct with Dan Griswold).