By Spencer P. Morrison:
The Financial Times accuses President Trump of suffering from an odious, if tongue-in-cheek malady called trade deficit disorder (TDD). The symptoms? A bizarre and unjustified desire to impose tariffs, thereby ensuring America sells as much as it buys on the international markets.
Of course, Trump is not suffering alone with this malady: many prominent billionaires from Carl Icahn to Warren Buffet have it, too—along with a majority of the American public. This raises the question: why the disconnect over tariffs between academics and businessmen, the media and the public?
In a word: myopia.
Economists and media pundits think inside the box, looking at the potential impact of tariffs on America’s economy. However, they neglect the bigger picture: raw economic growth is not the exclusive, or even primary objective of statecraft. Preserving America’s national security, and freedom are far more important, and worthy goals. And therein lies the justification for tariffs—they are an economic means to a political end, and this is why economists fail to understand their value. They are naïve.
Read more: American Greatness