Free Trade

When Government Is Stupid, Be Grateful for Its Inefficiency

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According to a new report from the Government Accountability Office, since 2001 U.S. Customs and Border Protection has failed to collect more than $600 million in duties that should have been imposed on imported goods "to remedy injurious unfair foreign trade practices." Specifically, the goods, mainly food products from China, were sold at "unfairly low prices," thereby violating "anti-dumping" rules. Due to CBP's dereliction of duty, American consumers presumably paid less than the government thinks they should for garlic, honey, mushrooms, and crawfish tail meat. This is the sort of bureaucratic inefficiency I can get behind.