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America First! Encourage Beijing to Keep on ‘Dumping’!

Here’s a letter to Barron’s.


After surveying the history of American trade policy, Kenneth Pringle expresses criticism of America’s post-war turn to freer trade by asking rhetorically “how’s that working out?” (“Forget Free Trade. Biden’s Use of Tariffs Follows a Long History in the U.S.” June 12). Clearly he thinks the obvious answer is ‘Not so well’ given that he follows this question by writing that “China has been subsidizing key industries, according to Biden, ‘and then dumping the excess products onto the market at unfairly low prices.’ That’s what the new tariffs are meant to counter.”

I have my own rhetorical question: How, exactly, does Beijing enrich China and impoverish America by forcibly directing Chinese labor and resources to produce large amounts of outputs for sale to Americans at bargain prices? Common sense and sound economics say that this policy of Beijing makes the Chinese poorer and Americans richer, for this policy results in a net transfer of valuable resources from China to America.

To the extent that we Americans have reason to worry that China poses a military threat, we should stop complaining about Beijing’s policy of “dumping” goods in America and proceed to actively encourage Beijing to double-, triple-, or quadruple-down on such “dumping.” The more such dumping occurs and the longer it lasts, the richer we become at China’s expense.

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

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