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An ideal U.S.-U.K. free-trade agreement [2]. (HT Iain Murray [3])

I disagree with several specific points made here by Irwin Stelzer, but I agree with him that it’s foolish for anyone to fall for the line that Trump is really angling for a world of vastly lower tariffs [4]. A slice:

Finally, there is the not-small matter of the president’s irremediable ignorance of economic affairs, combined with his tendency to confuse wish with reality. When Apple CEO Tim Cook complained that tariffs would drive up the cost of made-in-China gadgets, Trump became Apple’s business consultant. Make iPhones here, avoid the tariffs and you will have no need to raise prices, he insisted. But the transfer of manufacturing operations to America would surely result in higher costs of production, necessitating price increases. Otherwise, Cook would not have been producing Apple’s iThis and iThat in China in the first place.

Max Gulker argues that the benefits of some of Trump’s tax cuts will be cancelled out by the costs of Trump’s tax hikes (that is, Trump’s tariffs) [5]. Here’s his provocative conclusion:

For those who think these tariffs are simply a negotiating tactic to correct China’s bad actions, let me make another suggestion. Perhaps enacting the overall corporate tax cut first was also a tactic, to soften up potential resistance when the deluge of tariffs began.

Bob Higgs counts his blessings [6].

And Bryan Caplan tells a true story with a happy ending [7].

Richard Epstein has a more favorable view of antitrust regulation than I have; nevertheless, he is rightly – and highly – skeptical of a new case that is made for antitrust action against Amazon [8].

Steven Teles has lost any patience that he might once have had with that writer of fabulist tales, Nancy MacLean [9]. Here’s his opening paragraph:

I have honestly tried as hard as possible to maintain my equilibrium and good nature when engaging with Professor Nancy MacLean around the subject of her book, Democracy in Chains. And I sincerely attempted to have my say last year in a couple of pieces with Henry Farrell and leave it at that, but Professor MacLean insists on repeating outright falsehoods that could be avoided by a two minute Google search.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy explains that Americans are voting on taxes with their feet [10].

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