Free Trade: Hope Over Fear
Free trade is a child of economic confidence; protectionism is pessimism's progeny. In today's fearful economic climate, policy-makers have again cried "buy American," and embraced interventions that support domestic producers at the expense of our trading partners. Protectionism is bad economics and worse foreign policy, for many of our trading partners have only a tenuous link to peaceful democracy. To avoid the terrible path of the 1930s that led to prolonged depression and global conflict, the United States must maintain its commitment to globalization.
Other countries provide us with clothes, cars, markets for exports, and lending for the government and banks. Shutting our markets will make life more expensive for us and hurt the rest of the world. In the 1930s, legislators embraced high tariffs, but putting America first led to a devastating world war. Today, US lawmakers need to choose hope over fear, and stick with free trade.
~Ed Glaeser, Harvard economics professor, in the Boston Globe
HT: Cafe Hayek