The NY Times is Wrong About Trade and Tariffs — So is Everybody Else

Here is an interesting article about trade and tariffs from Spencer P. Morrison:

President Trump earlier this month told CBS News that the European Union is America’s “foe” because of “what they do to us in trade.” The European Council President Donald Tusk frantically responded:

Many free traders see this as far more than simple rhetoric. Economic historian Adam Tooze took to the pages of the New York Times last week to argue Trump is “deliberately foster[ing] economic nationalism.” In this way, Tooze suggests, Trump is little better than China’s President Xi Jinping or Russia’s Vladimir Putin. How dare they upset the liberal economic order?

Tooze, like all good economic liberals, thinks Trump’s view of national competition is antiquated—and dangerous. How could anyone fail to see the benefits of free trade? “We global” is not just a DJ Khaled album: it’s an affirmation of principle, a statement of fact.

Of course, Tooze’s world is nothing but a dream. It’s time he—and every other free trader—awoke from their intellectual stupor.

The Future is the Past

Tooze argues that Trump’s view of international competition is archaic:

To think . . . of nations locked in mortal economic rivalry shows a grave misunderstanding of how competition actually works . . . If neoliberalism is about anything, it has been about creating the largest possible economic space for competition. But the protagonists aren’t supposed to be states . . . but businesses, investors and workers.

Basically, Tooze thinks nations should cooperate, and leave the competition to individuals. This makes sense, but only theoretically. In reality, most nations are unwilling to simply melt away for the benefit of global citizens—even if this enriches their own people. After all, money is power; and politicians, be they democrats or dictators, are loath to surrender either.

Read more at American Greatness: The NY Times is Wrong About Trade and Tariffs — So is Everybody Else

Image credit: eu-rope.ideasoneurope.eu.