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Tariffs are Coercive

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Zachary Karabell writes that the Trump’s administration’s use of tariffs is like “bringing a knife to a gunfight” (“Tariffs Are Like a Knife in a Gunfight,” Oct. 15). This description could not be more wrong.

Because tariffs obstruct peaceful commerce between buyers and sellers – each of whom expects to gain from trading – in order to artificially enrich politically powerful producer groups, the Trump administration’s use of tariffs is like bringing a knife to a bazaar to commit robbery.

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