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A Blessing in Disguise

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Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Editor:

Regarding the tanker stuck in the Suez Canal and blocking one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes (“Suez Canal Backlog Grows as Efforts Resume to Free Trapped Tanker [2]”): If the principles of economic nationalism that have swept the globe over the past ten years are sound – principles embraced here in the U.S. by both Republicans and Democrats – this stuck tanker is a blessing in disguise. By obstructing international trade, it protects jobs in each country from being destroyed by foreigners hawking exports while relieving governments of the need to spend resources on costly customs facilities and agents.

And so Pres. Biden should send to Egypt a delegation led by former president Trump to demand an immediate end to efforts to dislodge the tanker, and to propose that the flotilla of other tankers now blocked by the stuck vessel each itself be lodged into the Suez mud so that the canal remains permanently closed. Once the Suez Canal is securely shut, the delegation can speed off to Panama to demand similar efforts there.

Think of the benefits! Supply ‘chains’ will be repatriated! Trade deficits will disappear! National security will never again be undermined by reliance on foreigners! All nations will be freed of their economic dependence on other nations. No more will jobs be stolen by other countries’ unfair trade practices! And America will truly be made great again!

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
and
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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