≡ Menu

Quotation of the Day…

is from page 2 of Douglas Irwin’s excellent 1996 monograph Three Simple Principles of Trade Policy:

Any restraint on imports also acts, in effect, as a restraint on exports. The converse of this proposition is also true: when a government undertakes policies to expand the volume of exports, it cannot help but to expand the volume of imports as well.

DBx: Protectionists are uneasy with this reality – understandably so given that they regard exports as blessings in and of themselves and imports as unfortunate costs to be endured only if and insofar as these better enable the home country to export. In contrast, people who understand economics look with favor upon both exports and imports, the former being a useful means to obtain as many as possible of the latter.