What do "experts" say about trade?
By Scott Sumner
Imagine an article on the “carried interest” tax loophole, entitled as follows:
“Carried Interest tax treatment should not be changed, experts agree”
And suppose that all of the experts were hedge fund billionaires.
CNBC has a new article discussing “expert” opinion on Chinese steel exports. Here’s the headline:
China has conducted a ‘war’ – not trade – with steel, experts say.
The article cites two experts:
China’s low-cost metal producers have been widely cited as the main culprit for the glut. In particular, the world’s second largest economy has been accused of “dumping” cheap steel on to global markets, due to a slowdown in domestic demand, in a bid to gain market share. However Beijing has denied any wrongdoing and has said that its costs are lower than other producers.
Lourenço Gonçalves, chairman, president and chief executive of mining and natural resources company Cliffs Natural Resources, told CNBC on Thursday that China had been acting unfairly. . . .
“Just based on the numbers, China is by far the largest problem,” Gonçalves said, accusing China of not abiding by the rules of international trade. “You can’t call yourself competitive if your competitiveness is based on cheating the international rules of trade. Trade without fairness is not trade, it’s war.”
And here’s the other expert:
James Bouchard, founder, chairman and chief executive of steel services group Esmark, agreed that there was “no doubt about it” that China was dumping steel and said that the impact had been “devastating” for businesses.
We now live in a world where actual experts are ignored, and the press merely repeats the claims of special interest groups on one side of the issue. Trump would be proud.