By Arnold Kling
Who is setting trade policy in the Bush Administration? Certainly not Bruce Bartlett, who writes,
one of the new trade restrictions applies to brassieres. Yet there is no domestic manufacturer of this product…
The Bush administration has shown incredibly poor judgment in trade policy ever since taking office. Its steel tariffs backfired by costing more jobs in steel-using industries than were saved among producers, and its budget-busting agricultural subsidies doomed a multilateral trade agreement. From the point of view of trade, it is the worst administration since Herbert Hoover helped bring on the Great Depression by signing the Smoot-Hawley tariff in 1930.
trade whether it is reciprocal or not is a boon to American taxpayers and consumers alike. Although trade negotiators often frame these agreements as one nation granting access to another nation’s imports in exchange for the “privilege” of exporting to that nation, this is not really the case at all.
Economic data clearly shows that taxpayers and consumers in the United States benefit from reduced tariffs or subsidies whether other countries follow suit or not
For Discussion. What are the pros and cons of “unilateral disarmament” in trade wars–reducing our own tariffs, quotas, and subsidies without corresponding reductions by other countries?