Finch: Hysteria Over Trump and Tariffs

The hysteria over Trump's tariffs shows how a libertarian conviction in the absolute goodness of unrestricted trade (the wisdom of the market) leads to the same end result as its leftist opposite numbers. No ideology is perfect. Nor does obedience to any such magical force supersede the right of the people to decide their own affairs. And that includes their own economic affairs.

These arguments have been with us since the days of Alexander Hamilton. And, writing at Breitbart, the Freedom Center's own Michael Finch questions the tariff hysteria.

And enough about this small, targeted tariff causing a trade war. The good folks in Peoria, Youngstown, Flint and so many more cities in the Heartland will argue that we have been in a trade war for decades – one we are losing. And yes, making steel is important and, yes, it is in our national security interests to keep making steel. Trump is correct: if you don’t have steel, you don’t have a country. Can one imagine us winning WWII if we didn’t have a steel industry?

Further, selected and targeted tariffs are good policy. For instance, the United States imposes a zero percent tariff on motorcycles imported from India while India has a 100 percent tariff on American motorcycles. Why would we allow this? Trump is seeking to mirror the tariffs imposed on goods from nations that have large tariffs against us. He can work out better deals with allies and nations that work with us; in fact, Trump has already relaxed the tariff against Mexico and Canada. After all this time, do people not see that Trump is always working for a deal?

“Free” Trade is not free; moreover, it needs to be fair. Free trade has hollowed out the middle of the country and almost destroyed our manufacturing base. It has destroyed families and livelihoods. Maybe that is just too hard to see from Newport Beach, San Francisco, or Manhattan.

Those are all excellent points. (And you can read the rest at Breitbart.)

A rising stock market is great, but it's the beginning of an economic recovery. Not the end of it. It's certainly not enough for the people who came out in unprecedented numbers from parts of the country that have been left behind to vote for Trump. The places that Hillary Clinton refers to as "backward" compared to San Francisco.