Free Trade & Trade Policy

The Latest Conservative Defense of Tariffs

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For many years now, some conservatives, in their magazine and web articles criticizing government-managed trade agreements such as NAFTA and CAFTA, have made veiled criticisms of free trade. But no more. Since the beginning of the year, when Donald Trump started imposing protective tariffs on selected items from certain countries, those conservatives have begun to openly criticize free trade and ... [click for more]

Libertarian Lessons: Free Trade

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Trade is commonly understood to be an economic activity carried on between countries, which is incorrect. Trade takes place between individuals, or groups of individuals, both domestically and across international boundaries. At its core it is the voluntary exchange of private property. Human beings must act to sustain their lives. Before industrialization the vast majority of people lived in shared poverty, their agrarian ... [click for more]

Seven Implications of Protectionism

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In a speech on the campaign trail in 2016, then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said about Hillary Clinton and trade, Hillary Clinton unleashed a trade war against the American worker when she supported one terrible deal after another, from NAFTA, to China to South Korea. It doesn’t matter. No matter where she went, the American worker was hurt and you’ll ... [click for more]

Tariff Walls and Trade Wars Equal Government Planning

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Trade wars are dangerous and harmful policies for governments to pursue. They hurt consumers due to higher prices and fewer alternatives; they reduce competitive opportunities for producers by restricting markets; and they narrow the benefits that come from a market-based system of division of labor in which each participant tends to devote his or her efforts to supplying the ... [click for more]

Trump’s Protectionist Follies Threaten a Trade War

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President Donald Trump has announced the planned imposition of a new, 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on foreign made aluminum entering the United States. This has brought about threats of trade retaliation by a number of America’s trading partners. The menacing clouds of a possible trade war are showing themselves on the global ... [click for more]