Given President Trump’s trade wars against China and other countries, the natural tendency is to focus on Chinese and American producers and consumers as the victims of Trump’s destructive trade folly.
Keep in mind that in every trade, both sides benefit by improving their respective standard of living. That’s because in every trade, both traders give up something they value less for something they value more. Thus, standards of living can rise through the simple act of trade.
Thus, Chinese producers are hurt because Trump refuses to permit them to sell to Americans. American producers are hurt because China retaliates by refusing to permit Chinese consumers to buy from them.
American consumers are hurt because Trump refuses to permit them to buy from Chinese producers. Chinese consumers are hurt because the Chinese government retaliates by refusing to permit them to buy from American producers.
But there is another victim of Trump’s trade wars: us, the American people. That’s because Trump’s trade wars have contributed to the destruction of our economic liberty.
Fundamental questions arise: What does it mean to be free? What are natural and God-given rights? What is the role of government in a free society?
Freedom necessarily encompasses the right to trade with others. It’s your money. You have the natural, God-given right to do whatever you want with it. That includes entering into economic trades with anyone in the world, including the Chinese, Iranians, North Koreans, Russians, Vietnamese, and Cubans.
With his trade wars, Trump has destroyed our natural-God-given right to trade with the Chinese and other people from around the world against whom he has initiated his trade wars. In the process of hurting foreign and domestic producers and consumers with his trade wars, Trump has, at the same time, destroyed the natural, God-given right of economic liberty of the American people.