Harding to Trump on Trade

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Preach What You Practice

Over at An Independent Mind, Jeffrey Harding nicely explains the foolishness of Donald Trump's recent tariff talk, with the President's own dealings as a point of departure:

Image of Trump Turnberry via Wikipedia.
If it is the case that we have been fools to engage in "one-sided" free trade with other countries, then Trump personally entered into a "very stupid" deal resulting in a huge personal trade deficit. He bought a couple of golf courses in Scotland and, get this, the Scots didn't buy any golf courses or anything else from him. He has poured more than $220 million into buying and operating them all for the benefit of Scottish workers. His balance of payments deficit with Scotland is $220 million! What a sap. Just so you know, "countries" don't have trade or payments deficits, businesses and individuals do because they are the ones buying foreign goods, not the "United States of America". [footnote and links omitted]
Harding goes on to offer an accessible explanation of the various errors inhering in protectionism. Furthermore, he also points out that, when Trump brags about how well the economy is doing -- while also spoiling for a trade war -- he is contradicting himself. I thank Harding for calling on Congressional Republicans to rein him in, and reminding them that a trade war was one of the major causes of the Great Depression.

-- CAV


3-14-18: Corrected spelling of "rein." (HT: C. Andrew) 

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