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Meet the New Boss: Donald Trump, Who Wants To Tell You What You Can Buy and Sell

Via trade and immigration restrictions, the president is completing the GOP's conversion to the party of economic micro-management.

Twitter, Nick GillespieTwitter, Nick GillespieI'm old enough to remember when the Republican Party claimed to be the party of free trade and free markets. So are you, if you can recall any year prior to 2016.

To be sure, the GOP's commitment to laissez faire was always more aspirational than actual, but Republicans and high-profile conservatives aren't even faking it anymore. When it comes to defending and promoting basic capitalist ideas such as free trade, allowing workers to move and employers to hire them freely, and ending subsidies that distort market forces while paying off politically connected interests, Trump-era Republicans and conservatives are all wet.

Over the weekend, the president displayed his ignorance about what matters in trade with this statement bemoaning all the cheap imports Americans have chosen to buy when given the opportunity.

As Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, the rare Republican who routinely voices disagreement with the president, countered, "I'm way down on trade with restaurants, grocery stores, malls, and movie theaters. I keep buying from them, but they never buy from me. I must be getting ripped off, right?"

Amash is a lonely voice on the right side of the aisle. Here's Fox News' Laura Ingraham weighing into the "Koch brothers" like some ThinkProgress intern with half-a-semester of Econ 101 under his belt (disclosure: David Koch is a trustee of Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this website, and we are the recipient of grants from the Charles Koch Institute). The brothers' sin? A principled commitment to free trade that puts them sideways with President Trump. Here's how Ingraham responded to reports with headlines such as "Kochs to Spend Millions Fighting Against Trump's Trade-War Agenda."

As The Washington Post's Catherine Rampell writes, Trump has been trying to "strong-arm the invisible hand" since before he officially took office (remember that air-conditioning plant in Indiana?). Reason's Ronald Bailey has reported on the president's most-recent attack on basic laws of supply and demand, which involves forcing power utilities to buy energy from money-losing coal and nuclear-energy companies. That's the very definition of cronyism, argues Bailey. Rampell notes that, too, while zeroing in on the bogus "national-security" motivation behind related "buy American" rhetoric and policy coming from the White House and tariffs that take aim at such deadly foreign enemies as Canada, the European Union, and Mexico. Then there's the bully pulpit, which this president has weaponized against specific companies whenever he wants:

He urged National Football League teams to "fire or suspend" players who kneel during the national anthem, comments that at least one team owner admitted in a deposition affected his personnel policy.

He attacked Nordstrom for dropping his daughter's clothing line.

He publicly berates Amazon—whose chief executive, Jeffrey P. Bezos, independently owns The Post—and has reportedly demanded that the Postal Service double prices on Amazon packages.

Rampell suggests that Trump's willingness to break "a sacred data embargo" on jobs-report numbers also illustrates his willingness to game markets unfairly. Whether you buy that or not, there's little doubt that the president's constant attacks on the media and his own government's analysis "has eroded confidence in the integrity of government data and fairness of financial markets."

Of course, that erosion started long before Trump and will likely continue long after he's moseyed to whatever pasture he ends up in. Indeed, if Salena Zito and Brad Todd, authors of The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping America Politics, are correct, Trump is an effect of such a breakdown in confidence and integrity, not a primary cause. As Zito recently told me, in many cases, the same folks who voted for Trump in 2016 had voted for Barack Obama because they had lost faith in the ability or willingness of more-conventional candidates to represent their concerns. What isn't up for discussion is that Trump has changed the Republican Party position on trade:

Harvard-Harris poll, May 2018Harvard-Harris poll, May 2018

Democrats' new faith in the power of free markets may be situational, but there's no reason to doubt that Republicans have definitively shifted on the matter. Even before Trump was elected, upwards of 85 percent of Republicans were saying that free trade had cost more jobs than it created. Add to that growing hostility to immigration among conservatives and GOP lawmakers who want to cut legal immigration in half while keeping tight caps on work visas for skilled and unskilled workers alike. Back in the days of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, such restrictions would have been seen for what they plainly are: sure-to-fail attempts by the government to dictate and control labor markets.

Which is of a piece with the way Trump and the contemporary GOP see their role not as facilitators of free and open markets, but as technocrats who get to decide more and more of what goes on in the economy. It wasn't a good look when Democrats used to talk about the need for tighter and tighter regulation and more "consensus" on who gets to make what or hire whom. And it sure as hell isn't any prettier when it's Donald Trump, ostensibly flanked by gone-missing party leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, barking out orders.

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  • ||

    "I'm way down on trade with restaurants, grocery stores, malls, and movie theaters. I keep buying from them, but they never buy from me. I must be getting ripped off, right?"

    Apparently, Justin Amash gets his movies and groceries from China.

  • Juice||

    A lot of groceries in your local store comes from other countries.

  • damikesc||

    Rampell suggests that Trump's willingness to break "a sacred data embargo" on jobs-report numbers also illustrates his willingness to game markets unfairly. Whether you buy that or not, there's little doubt that the president's constant attacks on the media and his own government's analysis "has eroded confidence in the integrity of government data and fairness of financial markets."

    *snicker*

    Reason bemoaning how Trump has eroded confidence in the integrity of government's data is endless amusing.

  • JoeJoetheIdiotCircusBoy||

    *snicker*

    damikesc cherry picking bits of Reason articles (and not reading the very next paragraph) and bemoaning Reason is endless amusing.

  • Citizen X||

    when the Republican Party claimed to be the party of free trade and free markets

    Yes, "claimed."

  • ||

    if you can recall any year prior to 2016.

    Nick's memory must be fading. 2015 wasn't that long ago, the GOP was pretty lukewarm on the TPP even then.

  • Citizen X||

    I seem to recall one George Bush claiming in 2008 that TARP was necessary to save the free market from itself, thus demonstrating a total lack of understanding of both "save" and "free market."

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Not to mention George W's failed tariffs on steel.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Even Reagan was hardly a free trader. He talked a big game, but his deeds were quite protectionist especially against Japanese electronics and automobiles.

  • BYODB||

    Agreed. And again, it's because free trade doesn't actually exist so you're always deciding on the scale of management in trade. Reason can't acknowledge that, and so their conclusions are cartoonish.

  • ThomasD||

    Always entertaining to see a bunch of utilitarians get so Manichean when it comes to migrants and trade policy.

  • Oli||

    Did you read the article?

    "To be sure, the GOP's commitment to laissez faire was always more aspirational than actual, but Republicans and high-profile conservatives aren't even faking it anymore."

  • Oli||

    Did you read the article?

    "To be sure, the GOP's commitment to laissez faire was always more aspirational than actual, but Republicans and high-profile conservatives aren't even faking it anymore."

  • John||

    I'm way down on trade with restaurants, grocery stores, malls, and movie theaters. I keep buying from them, but they never buy from me. I must be getting ripped off, right

    That is such a stupid analogy. Yes, you are way down in trade on those things. You are able to do that because you are way up, in cash terms anyway, on trade with your employer. Get rid of that and you won't be way down with the rest for very long.

    It is a stupid analogy no matter which side makes it.

  • sarcasmic||

    What is true for micro is true for macro. Doesn't matter if that store is down the street or across the ocean. If you acknowledge that you're not being ripped off by the grocery store not buying stuff from you, then you must acknowledge that the idea of a trade deficit is a pantload. You don't like those implications, so you call the analogy "stupid." Better to call it stupid than to cure yourself of your hopeless ignorance of basic economics.

  • Brandybuck||

    John's just trying to justify the new conservatism where trade is evil. The analogy is not exact for numerous reasons, but it is accurate in pointing out the major flaw in protectionism. It used to be that protectionists were firmly in the camp of the Democrats, but now that we have Republican protectionist in chief, John suddenly feels the need to be a protectionist. Simply as that. It's not about the economics, it's about the tribal identity.

    Trade imblance figures ignore the dollars and just look at items. But China investing the dollars we send it for items balances the books. We are NOT hemorrhaging dollars bills to China! US dollars can only be spent in the US. Sometimes those dollars make a circuitous route back to the US, but they do come back.

  • Calidissident||

    I actually think John has been consistent on this particular issue, I seem to remember him being protectionist even before Trump. And while protectionism was much less common in the GOP and more common among Democrats 5 or 10 years ago than today, there has always been a nationalist protectionist streak among some elements of the right. For example, tariffs and free trade were often a point of difference between libertarians and paleocons.

  • BYODB||

    I think you mistyped that protectionism has been popular on both sides of the aisle since the colonial days, and that no one at all who has any power has really ever been in favor of anything other than managed trade.

    Reason assumes facts not in evidence on this issue.

  • ||

    ^This^

    "Free Trade" is as accurate and historically real as "Open Borders". The fundamental principal belying free trade is that the backwards natives don't know what's good for them.

  • BYODB||

    Reason has single-handedly helped me realize that I'm not a libertarian, or at least I'm not a Reason-styled libertarian. I'll probably still vote for libertarians (or more likely Rand Paul styled Republicans), but that's because from what I can tell the party has little to do with the publication.

    It's idealism unmoored from even basic facts of life around here. It's like the bizarro-world Slate.

  • Juice||

    but that's because from what I can tell the party has little to do with the publication.

    Right. Reason Magazine has no connection to the Libertarian Party.

  • Calidissident||

    I never said there wasn't support on both sides of the aisle, I was arguing against the notion that protectionism is brand new among conservatives and that they were all previously in the Democratic camp, because that's the argument Brandybuck made.

    You're not wrong that there really isn't support among those in power for completely free trade, but this should not be used as a justification for false equivalences. Not all opposition is equivalent in kind or degree, and it doesn't mean Trump's tariffs (or for that matter, those by Obama, Bush, Reagan, etc.) are no worse than the status quo or that imperfect trade agreements are bad because they don't go far enough.

  • BYODB||

    I'm just curious how it can possibility matter very much when the entire discussion is simply the extent of tariffs, as if there aren't already 12,000+ tariffs in the United States.

    So, sorry, I'm not shitting my pants over this subject. As a matter of fact, since the founding of the United States, I can't think of a time when the U.S. had zero tariffs. In fact, for the majority of American History, tariffs were the primary source of federal funds. Guess who was in favor of reduced or eliminated tariffs? Golly, was it Woodrow Wilson? It was!

    It should be interesting to see what China does after production is mostly oversea's if they decide to get militant in Asia. It's almost like the Civil War taught us absolutely nothing.

  • Brandybuck||

    During my formative years, the protectionists were nearly all in the Democrat camp because nearly all blue collar unionists were Democrats. As unionists migrated away from the Identity Politics Party and to the Republicans, the protectionist center shifted. This started acceleating during the NAFTA years as the anti-immigration folk found a handle they could hold on to, but there has been a major ideological shift in conservatism itself in the past five years. But Trump is the first Republican president who is unabashedly protectionist.

    The Republican Party is no longer the party of Reagan, and conservatism is no longer the ideology of Buckley. There is zero common cause between conservatives and libertarians today.

  • ||

    What is true for micro is true for macro.

    So TBTF isn't a thing?

  • Napoleon Bonaparte||

    What is true for micro is true for macro.

    I take it you've never asked a physicist how to reconcile quantum mechanics with the theory of relativity.

  • DarrenM||

    I think a trade deficit in and of itself is not worth any concern. What does matter is *why* there is this deficit. This could be an instance of over-borrowing for present consumption, which probably won't turn out well. In this case, we should be addressing the underlying cause, not putting a band-aid on a symptom, but that's what politicians usually do.

    Also, a trade deficit with one country is irrelevant. What matters it the overall trade deficit. If you buy X from China and sell X to Mexico, for example, there is no trade deficit. It's just disingenuous ideologies playing with numbers.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    John, trade only happens because both sides agree on a value to what is being traded. I think that is Amash's point, and it makes just as much sense in terms of global trade as it does in trade at your local grocer. You can't by definition be "down" on trade because if there wasn't a value in trading, you wouldn't have traded to begin with.

  • JoeBlow123||

    If there are no "winners" from trade then countries would not become richer from trade such as the Asian Tigers did and countries would not try to distort their currencies to prop up exports like China does and countries like Germany would not reap such a windfall from a relatively weak Euro while Greece is clobbered by a stronger Euro. All of these things tie in to finance and trade and "winners" and "losers" from trade. In the long run perhaps things even out, but that also implies in the long run America will be just as rich as Rwanda. You want to be as rich as Rwanda?

    It is nice to pretend things like relative gains do not exist but you free trade absolutists betray massive naivety by continuing to live in some fantasy where borders do not exist, countries have no ulterior motives in nearly every action they do, and geopolitics is something goofuses like George Kennan and Henry Kissinger worry about. I am sure you will all be shocked, just shocked, when China decides to start telling us all to go fuck ourselves and annexes Taiwan and pressures all of Asia to kowtow to the Middle Kingdom and give them all their sweet stuff.

  • BYODB||

    Precise-a-mundo JoeBlow.

    Free trade is an idea, not a thing that actually exists in reality. Libertarians appear to...not be aware of that fact. Or at least most of the posters here don't understand that.

    Sort of like 'justice', 'free trade' doesn't actually exist. In fact, the only place you're likely to find even a facsimile of what libertarians think of as 'free trade' is ironically trade between American states. International free trade is a literal pipe dream unless America becomes an even bigger hegemony than it is right now.

    This is a trend I've noticed around here, actually, in that plenty of libertarians believe things that would directly precipitate or at least necessitate World War 3. Good thing the NAP is magic, huh?

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    So you're for tariffs then I take it? Would you support a tax increase on all Americans to supplement American Steelworkers' wages?

  • BYODB||

    Wrong, I'm stating facts and extrapolating.

  • ThomasD||

    I'm all for tariffs.

    As a means for generating revenue necessary to find required aspects of government they are preferable to income taxes.

    But they should be Pareto optimized as much as possible. This applies to their effect on both domestic productivity (wages) and foreign tariffs.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    The trade imbalance is really just a way of saying that Americans consume more goods than they produce. Tariffs raise the price of goods and reduce consumption. So sure, they help the trade "imbalance" but I'm not sure that's the way you want to do it.

    A better way to approach reducing the trade deficit, if that is a desirable outcome, is to reduce the burdens on businesses from a cost standpoint. The problem is that nobody wants to talk about reducing wages, but that's a big part of the cost of production in the US. Tariffs, in the sense that they "help" a domestic industry, are really nothing more than supporting the high wages relative to China (for instance).

  • BYODB||


    The problem is that nobody wants to talk about reducing wages, but that's a big part of the cost of production in the US.


    This is a sore point with me as well, since Reason refuses to acknowledge that this is a prerequisite if they're serious about totally open borders. I can only assume they're either too stupid to understand the subject, or are actively lying to avoid letting Americans know that they plan on slashing their paychecks by at least a third.

  • JoeBlow123||

    "The trade imbalance is really just a way of saying that Americans consume more goods than they produce. "

    And if this was in the age of gold we would have to be sending our reserves to China and debasing our currency. But since this is in the day of monopoly money we can just print more and quantitative ease our way out of any conundrum.

    *progress*

  • swampwiz||

    > The problem is that nobody wants to talk about reducing wages, but that's a big part of the cost of production in the US.

    So how is someone supposed to live on that reduced wage? How is he supposed to afford a home? Or afford our ridiculous health care costs? Or afford to go to our ridiculously expensive universities. Etc., etc. If we are telling the Working Class that they need just to live with lower wages, then redistributionist ideas like ObamaRomneyHeritageCare/MediSomethingForAll, Guaranteed Jobs or Guaranteed Income start to sound better to them.

  • DarrenM||

    Tariffs penalize the purchase of goods from other countries. I don't see it as much different than penalizing someone who refuses to purchase government health insurance.

  • Juice||

    If there are no "winners" from trade

    But of course there are winners from trade. Both sides win. In a voluntary trade, both sides get (win) what they want. By definition.

  • JoeBlow123||

    "But of course there are winners from trade."

    What happens when one country wins more at trade, aka they relatively gain more from it than you? This country gains so much they can then start dictating terms and shit canning the all the systems your country previously set up to help them and promote your ideas?

    Relative gains. Relative gains. Repeat it again, Relative gains.

    There is s reason Reagan smacked the Plaza Accord on Japan, our close friends and allies, when the Japanese were gaining relatively against America to the point they appeared a rival. China deserves the same and more as they are totalitarians and not our friends. Combat their shenanigans, make them gain relitively less.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Enriching a dictatorship with a President for Life and the largest economy in the world - what could go wrong?

  • DarrenM||

    What happens when one country wins more at trade, aka they relatively gain more from it than you?

    This will always be the case. One party will always gain more from a trade the than the other. What matters is that each party gains more from the trade than by not trading.

  • SusanM||

    If you can't lose a trade war, who wins?

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Whichever industry your tariffs are designed to protect wins. It's crony capitalism at its best.

  • Juice||

    If you can't lose a trade war, who wins?

    Justin Amash or the grocery store? Which one is the winner?

  • Jerryskids||

    Once upon a time, you could set font size and color and so on in the Reason comments and right now this article about how "fair trade" bullshit is just an argument that Top Men and managed trade - i.e. Communism - is obviously much superior to our weak and pathetic free market capitalism deserves a big fucking flashing rainbow "AMEN!!!!". Read your goddamn Adam Smith you simple-minded shit-heads, we shouldn't have to explain this stuff to you over and over and over for 250 damn years without it sinking through your thick skulls that liberty is superior to serfdom.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Since when is communism a synonym for managed trade? Communism did not exist in the age of Adam Smith and he was arguing against mercantilism.

  • BYODB||

    Well, arguably the only sort of trade that exists in a Communist state is managed trade so...there's some reason to believe they're related although I would suppose you could have managed trade and not be a Communist nation.

  • Juice||

    It could be a fascist nation, for instance.

  • BYODB||

    Or a Democratic Republic, as another example.

  • Juice||

    Or a democratic republic, even.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    In any context, the word 'weaponized' is kinda dumb.

  • BYODB||


    I'm old enough to remember when the Republican Party claimed to be the party of free trade and free markets. So are you, if you can recall any year prior to 2016.


    Umm...were you in a coma because tariffs aren't new. There are several thousand of them with or without Trump and his administration.


    Although, I guess if you thought Republicans were in favor of free markets as libertarianism understands them you'd be disappointed. Instead, they're for managed trade like literally the entire world, including us.


    Good, bad, or ugly them's the facts, jack.


    Oh, and just for what it's worth this is absolutely expected as the Democrat party continues to shed their so-called 'moderates' and skew further left. There is literally only one place for them to go, and that is the Republican party. Expect them to skew further left over time until a non-insane Democrat runs for office I.E. when the sun becomes a cold dark lump of coal roughly the size of my fist.

  • ThomasD||

    Not coal, iron.

  • Tony||

    Wait... are you suggesting that Donald J. Trump might not be a principled, intelligent conservative president?

  • BYODB||

    Well, since he was a lifelong Democrat it would be silly to assume that he has Republican instincts in any real way, shape, or form.

  • Tony||

    Yet he's more popular with Republicans than any president since W. after 9/11.

  • BYODB||

    Of course, nevermind that Democrats thought W. was great immediately after 9/11 as well. I was one of the few that saw what the Patriot Act would become, and loathe both parties for their betrayal.

  • BYODB||

    And also nevermind that the only President since W. was...Obama. That's the sum total, and he was objectively pretty terrible. Ironically, he was terrible for leftists as well but the Press didn't think that was notable even at the time. Sort of like how Obama wasn't a threat to Freedom of the Press even while surveilling and arresting members of the Press.

  • ||

    Wait... are you suggesting that Donald J. Trump might not be a principled, intelligent conservative president?

    The Russians said he was a great guy! If only Hillary had warned us that they were lying.

  • Frank White||

    I agree that tarrifs are bad and no country should enact them to "balance" trade. However, if the country you are trading with has them, what's the libertarian solution to get them to stop? Let's assume you've already tried diplomacy. Certainly not war. What's the proper response?

  • Citizen X||

    Nothing. Even if China wants to make Chinese people pay higher prices for American stuff, forcing Americans to pay more for Chinese stuff just hurts Americans.

  • Frank White||

    What American stuff?

  • Citizen X||

    I don't know, man, you're the one who brought up other countries' tariffs.

  • ThomasD||

    " forcing Americans to pay more for Chinese stuff just hurts Americans."

    These are not static relationships. Things in foreign nations can and do change in response to outside actors.

    Your response is the "lie back and think of England" approach to trade relations.

    Trade relations, like all forms of government being a necessary evil.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Why is getting them to stop a libertarian issue, or problem?
    Tariffs are bad because they are self-inflicted wounds.
    A trading partner who doesn't realize this is fucking themselves over.
    Why is that our problem? Which of our rights are violated by their violation of their own rights?

  • Frank White||

    So tarrifs only hurt the country that enacts them and nobody else?

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    Bingo.

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    To add to that, China "manipulating" their currency, subsidizing their companies, or any other number of supposed "unfair trade practices", actually help us. As Milton Friedman once said, and I'm paraphrasing: "If another country wants to send us foreign aid, who are we to stand in their way?" China sending us cheap stuff that their taxpayers foot the bill for is a great thing. I suppose it does "hurt" the person who loses their job, if you assume losing a job is a bad thing. One could also look at it as labor being freed up to perform more beneficial work. But even if it is bad for those losing their jobs, the vast majority benefit. It is always a net gain for the populace. Always.

  • Frank White||

    I agree that China is shooting themselves in the foot. However, I don't accept that the negative effects from their trade actions ONLY hurt themselves. The "foreign aid" is a short-term benefit. The long-term damage to the manufacturing capability of the US is not up for debate. If the US prices themselves out of an industry due to free market forces, then so be it. That's not what happened.

  • Frank White||

    Regardless, it's pretty clear that Trump doesn't want to impose these tariffs as a permanent measure. It's a negotiation tactic:

    Trump said that the tariffs — 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum — will take effect in 15 days. But he said individual countries could negotiate with the U.S., leaving open the possibility that some might be exempted from the tariffs.

    "We're going to show great flexibility," Trump said, adding, "we just want fairness. We want everything to be reciprocal."

  • BYODB||

    Look Frank, you're ruining the narrative that Reason has entirely based upon Twitter shitposts. Get with the program!

  • Calidissident||

    Or perhaps people are more inclined to trust Trump's decades worth of protectionist sentiment (about the only thing he's been consistent about in his time commenting on politics) over his claimed desire that he's just negotiating to get fair free trade?

  • Bubba Jones||

    It hurts everyone, but it's proportional to the size of the market. If you are 50% of the demand, then they will feel the pain. If you are 10% of the demand, then your impact is blunted.

    Your own country feels the full force.

  • Shirley Knott||

    They only violate the rights of their own citizens and resident aliens.
    "Hurt" is a loaded term that sobscures rather than clarifies.
    So, to repeat — why are foreign tariffs a libertarian issue? Whose rights are violated?

  • ||

    why are foreign tariffs a libertarian issue?

    Setting aside that the whole social liberty vs. economic liberty debate isn't settled within libertarianism, there's still a question as to whether we could better preserve or advance it domestically vs. abroad.

    Would China taxing the shit out of it's 1.5B people to subsidize their domestic steel production and then take over US or even global steel production be a nominal/principled libertarian outcome? I'm not saying that's a likely outcome, just that the global economic participation/interventionism vs. economic isolationism doesn't fall squarely into libertarian principles, especially the way military or social intervention/isolationism would/does.

  • BYODB||

    Absolutely, and I would be keen for Reason to answer the question if there can ever be a national security concern in terms of trade. They seem to shy away from real world examples, I wonder why?

  • ||

    I wonder why?

    Because they like to have their fair trade coffee from nations who toss homosexual off rooftops and drink smugly it too.

  • markuzick||

    Of course tariffs hurt people of other countries too, just as if your friend shot himself, it would also indirectly hurt you to a lesser extent as well; so does that mean you can benefit by shooting yourself in retaliation?

  • ||

    Tariffs are bad because they are self-inflicted wounds.

    Under the notions of free trade, this is untrue. We are both slighted by the denial to utilize our comparative advantages fully.

    Not that I make up the rules...

  • Robert||

    Why is getting them to stop a libertarian issue, or problem?
    Tariffs are bad because they are self-inflicted wounds.
    A trading partner who doesn't realize this is fucking themselves over.
    Why is that our problem? Which of our rights are violated by their violation of their own rights?


    Gee, & I thought libertarians were for this concept called human rights, & cared about them in all places & times. Because, you know, somebody getting strangled to death by a cop on a power trip is frequently not the concern of just the strangled person.

  • Robert||

    Self-inflicted? You mean they apply only to the people who impose them?

  • BYODB||

    A more interesting question:


    What is the recourse if China cuts off access to American factories in mainland China and declares them Chinese-owned going forward?

  • Cynical Asshole||

    As Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, the rare Republican who routinely voices disagreement with the president, countered, "I'm way down on trade with restaurants, grocery stores, malls, and movie theaters. I keep buying from them, but they never buy from me. I must be getting ripped off, right?"

    Does this mean that Sarcasmic is Amash's sock puppet?

  • Brandybuck||

    And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.


    Remind me again how all the Team Read Christians are behind this guy? Do the imagine that the mark will be literal tattoo, do they not realize that is is exactly what is being talked about?

  • BYODB||

    Quoting Revelations is pretty amusing. That dude had the best drugs!

  • sarcasmic||

    If a foreign government tried to close up our ports and prevent us from engaging in trade, it would be an act of war.

    But when your own government uses protective tariffs to prevent its own people from engaging in trade, it is an act of benevolence.

    Principals, not principles.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Bingo

  • ||

    If a foreign government tried to close up our ports and prevent us from engaging in trade, it would be an act of war.

    But when your own government uses protective tariffs to prevent its own people from engaging in trade, it is an act of benevolence.

    Way to go Robby! Keep this up and you'll have the electorate convinced that they should vote Xi Jinping out of office in no time!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I wonder if he read my question yesterday, and that's why he switched to using purple lightning bolts in today's picture.

  • Bubba Jones||

    "A trade deficit also results when domestic companies manufacture in foreign countries. When raw materials are shipped overseas to factories, they count as exports. When the finished goods are shipped back home, they count as imports. That's true even though they're made by domestic companies. The imports are subtracted from the country's gross domestic product. That's despite the fact the earnings benefit the company's stock price and the taxes increase the country's revenue stream."

    Apple?

    http://www.thebalance.com/trad.....op-3305898

    This link actually explains how the trade deficit drives (or is coincident with) job outsourcing. That seems like the real issue.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Not sure you guys understand.

    At all.

    Let me fix your example so maybe something will trickle down through that mass of leftist dogma you all call 'brains'.

    As Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, the rare Republican who routinely voices disagreement with the president, countered, "I'm way down on trade with restaurants, grocery stores, malls, and movie theaters. I keep buying from them, some of them would like to buy my products, but their boss threatens to fire them if they ever do without his permission, so I can only sell to him, and he sells my products to his employees at greatly inflated prices.. I must be getting ripped off, right?"

    Do you get it? It's not that they're not buying our stuff--it's that they're not ALLOWED to buy our stuff.

    They have access to our market. We want the same access to theirs. So it's free.

  • Shirley Knott||

    And people in hell want ice water.
    Whose rights are being violated?

  • Calidissident||

    It's crazy the stuff supposed libertarians will justify to defend Donald Trump. To start with, your post is just incredibly uninformed. You can cherrypick examples, but the notion that overall all the countries we trade with don't allow people to buy our stuff is just inaccurate nonsense. And the notion that Trump is really a secret free trader playing 4D chess is just laughable.

  • BYODB||

    So the fact that China forces foreign companies to partner up with Chinese companies and divulge trade and manufacturing secrets in order to do any business there must just be some sort of weirdo conspiracy theory, I suppose, and all the outlets that have published that information are peddling 'fake news'?


    That's before you get into the fact that Chinese doesn't believe in intellectual property whatsoever. American inventions are the property of the Chinese government, don't you know?


    And nevermind that Chinese does indeed rip off American inventions and sell them to their own populace. There is no doubt whatsoever that this happens.

  • BYODB||

    Also, apparently I fail at proofing my posts. Sheesh, you'd think the market would have told Reason to give us an edit button by now. ^_-

  • Calidissident||

    To start with, if the problem is China, why the fuck are we putting tariffs on Canada, Mexico, the EU and a bunch of other countries? If we need to take action to get China to change their policies, wouldn't it make far more sense to make sure we are on the best of terms possible with those other countries and form a united bloc to bring China to the table. Given that neither I nor Azathoth mentioned China, that most of our foreign trade is not with China, and that the tariffs extend to far more countries than China, why did you instantly jump into a rant about China thinking it would prove me wrong?

    I'm not saying China doesn't do shady things around trade, IP, or really anything for that matter. I'm saying that Trump's tariffs against them are because he's a protectionist, not a secret free trader playing 4D chess, and the tariffs he's implement will ultimately hurt Americans more than they help. And the China bogeyman is a shit justification for putting tariffs on our allies. If Obama had done this there would be far less justification of it in the comments here even if limited to China (I should probably say when he did this, I'm sure someone could dig up old articles about the tariffs he implemented and find very little support for it in the comments).

  • BYODB||

    I don't need to get into the specific cases to show that the general argument is facile, but for what it's worth I can't think of anyone serious that doesn't acknowledge that our 'trade' with China is good in the short term but the longer your outlook the worse it could become. Note I don't say will become, but rather there are national security and intellectual property issues there that Reason refuses to even hint at.

    Some of those issues are pretty existential, too, which makes it all the more baffling that Reason is arguing for a thing that has never, in the history of the world, existed while ignoring potential issues.

    Oh, right, I forgot that Reason is written by a bunch of children and that libertarianism in general is exceptionally weak and sophomoric in terms of foreign policy (hence open borders, 'free trade', and other unicorns.)

  • BYODB||

    And please note, I don't give a fuck about Trump's 'tariffs' or anything else he posts on Twitter. His shitposting has nothing to do with anything.

    The very fact Reason is literally incapable of admitting that maybe the Chinese tariff issue has something to do with North Korea means they are too retarded to take seriously on this issue.

    They can't come up with an argument, so they create strawmen to argue against. Maybe if they had an argument, I wouldn't continue bashing them every time I think they're doing it.

  • Calidissident||

    Yeah they're the retards, not the morons justifying policy on arguments that were disproven in the 17th and 18th centuries. Or the people who apparently think Canada, the EU, and Mexico are a part of China.

  • BYODB||

    I feel like you're arguing against something that I'm not saying Cali. Economic warfare does indeed exist, are you saying it doesn't?

  • Juice||

    It's crazy the stuff supposed libertarians will justify to defend Donald Trump.

    Which libertarians are defending Donald Trump on the issue of tariffs?

  • Azathoth!!||

    but the notion that overall all the countries we trade with don't allow people to buy our stuff is just inaccurate nonsense

    Then why did you make it up?

    Because I certainly never said it.

    I said that some of the nations we trade with have governments that limit our access to customers in their countries.

    Which is not 'inaccurate nonsense'. It's a simple fact.

  • Baron Von Weinermobile||

    Let me get this straight, you think free trade and individual freedom are "leftist"? Good Lord, you are desperately confused. There are two issues here you don't understand: pragmatic and ethical.
    From a pragmatic view, in your own example, Amash basically gets free stuff and never has to give anything for it. And you are saying somehow he is being hurt by this? China not buying American made products only hurts China. Likewise, China sending us cheap crap is a boon to the majority of Americans.
    From an ethical point of view, if you are upset so much about China not allowing its citizens to buy your stuff then you are free to stop buying theirs. But what gives you or anyone else the fucking right to force me to stop buying theirs, or to pay extra taxes if I do? I don't give a fuck if the Chinese can't buy American stuff. It's not my problem. Did I ask the president to negotiate on my behalf?

  • JoeBlow123||

    "Did I ask the president to negotiate on my behalf?"

    Mmmm, the buck passing and collective action problem are strong in this one.

    Do libertarians no longer believe monopolies are bad and monopoly power is bad? What happens when a country, aka China, amasses tremendous economic power in the hands of an unelected oligarchy? Xi Jinping and the CCP can literally order any company in China to do what they want, whether they are state owned or not. I am sure Xi Jinping and the CCP are using these powers to graciously bless Americans with cheap jeans and sweat iPhones out of the graciousness of their hearts! They really just love Americans and want to screw over Chinese. Or maybe they are just dumb and cannot have any rational motives in their actions, they need to read more Adam Smith.

    You guys are such goofs. You sound more like religious missionaries than rationalists.

  • Shirley Knott||

    They can only amass tremendous economic power in some areas. To do so, they will lose at least that amount of power in other areas. This is inevitable and incontrovertible.
    It's the seen versus the unseen all over again.
    Spend some time at a Cafe Hayek, and pay attention.

  • JoeBlow123||

    China:

    - Biggest banks in the world... check
    - Biggest economy in the world by PPP... check
    - Biggest population in the world... check
    - Biggest exporter in the world... check
    - Biggest trader in the world... check
    - Number of people calling the shots: One (seven if we want to be generous and say the Standing Committee is important)

    Libertarians: NO PROBLEM!! Seems legitimate, no issues here.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Libertarians: NO PROBLEM!!

    So from your *individual, personal* point of view - not the point of view that you surmise the national collective ought to have, but you personally - what exactly is the problem?

  • ||

    They can only amass tremendous economic power in some areas. To do so, they will lose at least that amount of power in other areas. This is inevitable and incontrovertible.
    It's the seen versus the unseen all over again.
    Spend some time at a Cafe Hayek, and pay attention.

    He's right. You went from semi-rational economist to bullshitting pseudo-Austrian evangelist. Find me one Austrian economist who said monopolies cannot and do not exist. At best you get the notion that *natural* monopolies don't exist, which doesn't conflict with nor really address how social necessities that can and do occur and may be necessary (like policing) can effectively create monopolies (inadvertently or otherwise). A rigid adherence to the immaculate market ideology; without the 'coming to Jesus'/baptism moment event!

  • Shirley Knott||

    You're ignoring a host of factors, not least time.
    Either a monopoly is beneficial over time or it fails or it is supported by tariffs and the intra-national equivalent.
    See England, 1750 to 1850.

    China, or any other country, cannot direct resources to some favored companies or technologies without diverting resources away from others. Artificially created winners require that there be losers as a result of the artifice.

    I'm still waiting for someone to answer the question of whose rights are violated when we adopt free trade and other nations maintain tariffs. Other than the citizens of those other countries, and the local cronies and crony-wannabes.
    I don't expect to see one.

  • Jerryskids||

    The libertarians I know scoff at the monopoly bogeyman the same way they scoff at any other "if present trends continue..." nonsense. Your worrying about what we're going to do when China has all the cheese is as silly as your great-grandparents worrying about what we're going to do when we run out of whale oil. Long before China gets all the cheese, the price of cheese is going to go up, people are going to find other sources of cheese and cheese substitutes, the Chinese people are going to start getting a little grumpy about the fact that Xi and his buddies are hogging all the cheese. It's like a negative feedback loop, each additional slice of cheese China gets makes it just a little bit harder to get the next and at some point the cheese engine starts slowing down, starts straining, starts sputtering, comes to a complete halt - and you and your kind are going to claim we got lucky and call us guys standing over here saying "don't worry about the cheese machine, it'll stop before it gets to be a problem" idiots for insisting cheese machines never work when it was clearly just luck this particular one didn't kill us. Just like the hundreds of cheese machines you've warned us about for thousands of years that not a damn one of them has ever worked.

  • Bearded Spock||

    Reason has significant cognitive dissonance when it comes to trade and immigration; the idea that anyone could possibly object in good faith to open borders and free trade is so foreign to them that they cannot understand it.

    So instead they feature column after column that either condescendingly nerd-splains to the trailer trash that having the local steel mill go broke is actually a good thing, or hysterically accuses them of being secret Klansmen.

    And even when Salena Zito provides the answers to them, they still don't get it.

    Trump is president today because for a significant chunk of Americans unchecked immigration and a flood of cheap Chinese imports have been disastrous. And he will be president in 2022 unless the Washington establishment (of which Reason is s member on this issue) finally figures this out.

  • Tony||

    You mean they have the opposite of cognitive dissonance... as in sticking to their stated principles.

  • Bearded Spock||

    No, it's cognitive dissonance - because they can see that free trade and open borders are increasingly unpopular, but they refuse to believe it is due to anything but plain old nationalist racism.

    It's the rough equivalent to those anti-drug crusaders who refuse to believe that no one but shiftless potheads could possibly support marijuana legalization.

  • Tony||

    Libertarians believe all sorts of unpopular things on principle.

  • Bearded Spock||

    You can believe anything you want.

    But to continually ascribe bad faith to your opponents in the face of evidence to the contrary is simply ignoring reality.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    So you don't think the libertarian argument in favor of free trade and open borders is wrong per se, just that libertarians have been too mean when presenting their argument? Is that what you are saying?

  • Bearded Spock||

    That should be "refuse to believe that anyone other than shiftless potheads". Makes more sense.

  • Calidissident||

    Where exactly is the claim that everyone who opposes free trade is racist?

    Talk about strawmen.

  • Mark22||

    You mean they have the opposite of cognitive dissonance... as in sticking to their stated principles.

    Libertarianism has the stated princple that Americans are required to subsidize foreigners through the US welfare system?

    Libertarianism has the stated principle that totalitarian governments can force citizens to work for below market wages?

    Who knew! Where are those principles stated?

  • BYODB||

    I wonder how long it will be until Reason claims that Chinese imports are saving the American welfare state money and thus it is a boon...

  • Paloma||

    They are saving ME money. Am I supposed to be worried that some mope isn't making $80K a year doing a job a robot could do for the cost if upkeep?

  • Mark22||

    They are saving ME money.

    The massive taxes I pay are also saving you money. Does that make them libertarian or free market?

    Am I supposed to be worried that some mope isn't making $80K a year doing a job a robot could do for the cost if upkeep?

    No, you are supposed to be worried that both the Chinese and the US government violate the NAP and that it is that violation of the NAP that ultimately "saves you money".

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    "Why don't those darn libertarians sacrifice their principles on the altar of popularity! What in the world are they thinking?"

  • Mark22||

    The social welfare state, massive taxes and redistribution, and communist dictatorships all violate the NAP and hence represent a massive violation of libertarian principles. Opening the borders to goods and people within that context means increasing those violations of the NAP, hence they are not libertarian.

    It is necessary at the very least for the US to become libertarian before open borders and unrestricted trade even begin to become libertarian policies. It's probably not sufficient, because even then, trading with non-libertarian partners still violates the NAP.

  • daved||

    Free trade is not fair trade.

    Fair trade is what Trump supports.

    And anyone trying to hang conservatives on slogans made up by RINOS is an idiot.

  • Jerryskids||

    Free trade by definition is fair trade. If it weren't fair, why would you freely agree to the trade?

    Fair trade is a meaningless phrase, it's just A's opinion on what B should be charging C for his goods.

    And anybody who thinks Trump knows better than me what I should be willing to pay for a given product is an idiot.

  • daved||

    Free trade by definition has nothing to do with fair trade. As Trump has mentioned, countries protect their own. So in free trade, other countries, china being the worst, ensure that they are on the winning side of trade.

    Trump's strategy is simple: Either have fair trade where it's fairly even for both sides, or we'll have to charge, let's say a value added tax also called a tariff, to ensure the books are balanced.

    Oh, and how many billions do you have? How many successful businesses have you run? Yeah, I think I'll take Trump's word over yours any day of the week. Anyone who would take your word over Trump's is more than an idiot. He'd be a total retard.

  • Mark22||

    Free trade by definition is fair trade. If it weren't fair, why would you freely agree to the trade?

    I didn't agree to trade with China, yet my money is forcibly extracted and then used to buy crap from China.

    Chinese blue collar workers didn't agree to trade with the US, yet they are forced by their government to labor at artificially low wages so that the Chinese government can dump cheap shit on the US.

    So, yeah, let's have free trade, that is, trade without tariffs between free market economies.

    And anybody who thinks Trump knows better than me what I should be willing to pay for a given product is an idiot.

    Oh, I'm sure you like receiving doubly government subsidized cheap crap from China, made so cheap through the use of force both in the US and in China. But since the use of force is involved (even if several steps removed), that's not a free market choice on your part.

  • Paloma||

    So how does paying $30,000 for a car instead of $19,000 help the poor, I just want to know.

  • daved||

    So how does allowing trade deficits to continue and tank our economy help the poor?

    I just want to know.

  • DarrenM||

    Except that you are the one that wants to tank the economy and torpedo the value of the dollar. You are the one that wants to penalize consumers for buying from someone who happens to live in another country. You want people to be forced to pay increased prices for products and therefore settle for a lower standard of living. Of course, we'll be able to export more at the same time we are forced to buy less. The important thing is that we'll no longer have a trade deficit.

  • SezWhom||

    "I'm old enough to remember when the Republican Party claimed to be the party of free trade and free markets. So are you, if you can recall any year prior to 2016."

    I knew this article was going to be crap just as soon as I read that opening. Journalists seem to be convinced that there were no tariffs before Trump invented them in 2016. Total BS.

    I'm old enough to remember Ross Perot warning that, with NAFTA, that giant sucking sound would be the sound of jobs going to Mexico. Today, we know that he was 100% correct.

    "Reason's Ronald Bailey has reported on the president's most-recent attack on basic laws of supply and demand, which involves forcing power utilities to buy energy from money-losing coal and nuclear-energy companies. That's the very definition of cronyism..." And where was Reason when Obama, Gore, et al were forcing us to pay for solar panel subsidies? And, guess what, we are STILL paying solar panels subsidies.

    We should all be willing to examine the pros and cons of tariffs. But when alleged journalists are clearly bigoted against one side of the discussion, I see no Reason to take them seriously.

  • jomo||

    I detect somewhat of a motif loosely related to the same reason people freak out (justifiably) on the hard right for other things like supporting Kim Davis, Trump's infidelities, and similar. What I'm getting at is that the Republican party and so-called conservatives spend decades consistently bemoaning a thing or pining for a thing and then under Trump gleefully abandon it, double down on their hypocrisy, and are then STUNNED that they get called on it. Some examples being how Monica Lewinsky was, according to most so-called conservatives,"the biggest disgrace ever" or how "family values" need to be forced on/returned to society, but Trump's string of infidelities is no problem. Kim Davis can refuse to do her job because she's all Christ-y about it, but NFL players better not express their political stances at work, et cetera.

    What this article is really about is, as the title suggests, how Rpublicans have been falsely beating the "scary Democrats will take away all your free tradez" drums for decades then as soon as they get in power under Trump, they double down on even more cronyist bullshit, and act all stunned that anyone notices/complains.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    To be sure, who wrote this, Nick or Robbie???

  • No Yards Penalty||

    Remember when this site used to be written by libertarians, and the comments were from libertarians?
    When did these threads get over-run by pants-shitting, nationalist, nativist, protectionist Contards?

  • buybuydandavis||

    It's Free Market Uber Alles, except...
    Corporate limited liability
    Government monopolies in "intellectual property"
    Differential tax treatment for wages and capital gains
    Tax on income instead of property
    Violation of Lockean Proviso

    A lot of rage against violations of the free market. Except when it helps those who Own over those who Labor.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Benjamin Tucker's critique of Herbert Spencer in 1884 applies to most Reason articles:

    It will be noticed that in these later articles, amid his multitudinous illustrations (of which he is as prodigal as ever) of the evils of legislation, he in every instance cites some law passed, ostensibly at least, to protect labor, alleviate suffering, or promote the people's welfare. He demonstrates beyond dispute the lamentable failure in this direction. But never once does he call attention to the far more deadly and deep-seated evils growing out of the innumerable laws creating privilege and sustaining monopoly. You must not protect the weak against the strong, he seems to say, but freely supply all the weapons needed by the strong to oppress the weak. He is greatly shocked that the rich should be directly taxed to support the poor, but that the poor should be indirectly taxed and bled to make the rich richer does not outrage his delicate sensibilities in the least. Poverty is increased by the poor laws, says Mr. Spencer. Granted; but what about the rich laws that caused and still cause the poverty to which the poor laws add? That is by far the more important question; yet Mr. Spencer tries to blink it out of sight.
  • buybuydandavis||

    "The brothers' sin? A principled commitment to free trade that puts them sideways with President Trump. "

    Really? The Koch have renounced:
    Corporate limited liability
    Government monopolies in "intellectual property"
    Differential tax treatment for wages and capital gains
    Tax on income instead of property
    Violation of Lockean Proviso

    When can we expect the Reason articles all about it?

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Via trade and immigration restrictions, the president is completing the GOP's conversion to the party of economic micro-management."

    Because Trump invented tariffs and immigration laws. Never ever happened before in US history. Til Trump.

    As Trump's policies reduce unemployment and increase wages, it appears the plutocrats have cracked the whip for more dishonest, hysterical pants shitting at Reason.

    "but Republicans and high-profile conservatives aren't even faking it anymore. When it comes to defending and promoting basic capitalist ideas such as free trade, allowing workers to move and employers to hire them freely"

    When did either the Dems or the Republicans every *openly* support open borders for any human widget our capitalist masters wanted to import?

  • buybuydandavis||

    So much dishonest, hysterical pants shitting at Reason these days.

    Tells you that they don't have honest and *reasoned* arguments against Trump.

    America First.

  • markuzick||

    California has been losing bossiness, manufacturing and jobs to states where business and wealth aren't treated as criminal to as great an extent. Political problems aside, should Californians declare political autonomy; impose trade and travel restrictions; tariffs; and capital controls to stop the bleeding and maintain prosperity, or should they instead institute business and personal liberty friendly policies and leave markets and trade alone? California certainly has the size; population; wealth; and resources to be one of the worlds greatest nations, so comparing it to a country is fair.
    If manufacturing is treated poorly in America, the only way to attract it away from friendlier jurisdictions would be if Americans would work for a fraction of what workers make in China; or America could become a haven for business and trade, swelling the demand for labor and pushing up wages along with small business opportunities. Sure, we could impose high wages and make work jobs, but businesses would either jack up prices in a runaway inflation or just be forced to close up; and all those high wages would buy virtually nothing if and when it was even available.

  • markuzick||

    Continued: Off shoring manufacturing is what has allowed American businesses to survive a poisonous domestic manufacturing environment, allowing us to switch toward a service and design economy. Without countries like China, America would have fallen far behind. This is not to say that the loss of our manufacturing base is not a bad thing, only that the way to restore it will be further hurt - not helped - by tariffs; and it's only trade that has let us survive as an economic power in spite of our moral corruption. Maybe we need Trump's managed trade policies because otherwise we will continue to misuse our wealth and power, promoting war and anarchy around the world.

  • markuzick||

    If we continue to misuse our wealth so destructively, then maybe Americans and the whole world needs the American economy to fail.

  • DarrenM||

    Yes. It's not the "trade deficit". It's all the regulations making it more difficult to run a business (or educate a work force). Moaning about the trade deficit is just easier. It's much less taxing to think about. I'm reminded of the story of the guy on his hands an knees under a street lamp.
    Passerby: "What are you doing?"
    Man: "Looking for my keys."
    Passerby: "Where did you lose them?"
    Man: "Over there." (Pointing to a dark alley.)
    Passerby: "Why are you looking here?"
    Man: "The light's better."

  • MatthewlovesAyn||

    I'm thinking Mr. Gillespie should consider writing for Mr. Bezos' Post. Another thing he may consider making "Reason" a for profit endeavor. Working without a profit motive seems to have skewed his thinking. When I went into the voting booth Nov. 8, 2016, I wasn't sure who I was going to vote for. I knew the prospect of another Clinton presidency was ghastly, but for god's sake, Gary Johnson is stoned. I let my chad punch out for the Donald and quite frankly, I'm glad I did. Mr. Trumps tariffs appear to be reciprocation to me, not protectionism. The only problem I have with his immigration policy is the brain drain it causes on the rest of the world. Africa needs smart people too. You can sent all the smart Asians you want, they have plenty to spare. Racist, you say? Perhaps. Statistical? Yes. As for most of his prevarication, it's called "jokes".

  • Mark22||

    Meet the New Boss: Donald Trump, Who Wants To Tell You What You Can Buy and Sell. Via trade and immigration restrictions, the president is completing the GOP's conversion to the party of economic micro-management.

    When it comes to immigration, Congress made the laws, Trump is merely enforcing them.

    When it comes to steel tariffs, Trump is exercising the authority given to him by Congress and if Congress doesn't like it, Congress can change it. I reserve judgment on whether the tariffs are good or bad, but generally, imposing tariffs on a totalitarian enemy isn't automatically bad.

    If you think that either immigration or steel tariffs amount to "economic micromanagement", you are simply mistaken about basic economic terminology and probably shouldn't be writing about economics.

  • Echospinner||

    What a load of crap. He is expanding executive power beyond anything the constitution had in mind. As if a steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada had anything to do with national security.

    Totalitarian enemy. Jeez put on your MAGA hat.

  • Gorillazilla||

    "Reason's Ronald Bailey has reported on the president's most-recent attack on basic laws of supply and demand, which involves forcing power utilities to buy energy from money-losing coal and nuclear-energy companies." There also must be consideration of the subsidies given to solar and wind generation. Wind receives subsidies of about $20 per megawatt/hour. Coal and nuclear can be profitable only when the government doesn't distort the market.

  • chey||

    "Which is of a piece with the way Trump and the contemporary GOP see their role not as facilitators of free and open markets, but as technocrats who get to decide more and more of what goes on in the economy. It wasn't a good look when Democrats used to talk about the need for tighter and tighter regulation and more "consensus" on who gets to make what or hire whom. " Trump is doing the mad man how knows everything and do the bes the essencial is that the economy be healthy. but the problem is , if we continue like this, america will be the poorest country in the world, we should pay attention, this man is bringing america to fall ! http://www.medecine-esthetique-paris.net

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