Trump’s $12 Billion Solution to a Protectionist Problem of His Making

American citizens have been impressed into a conflict which is not of their choosing. Unilateral power was used to levy tariffs on the imported goods the president has targeted under the guise of some vague national security threat and unilateral power will now be used to mitigate the damage done to domestic producers who inevitably pay the price for economic protectionism. The $12 billion the USDA will offer to farmers affected by the trade war…

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The President’s Shameful Attempt to Control Harley-Davidson

A government with power of discernment, whose officials think and feel and act empathetically towards their favored interest group, is a government of tyranny. Such a government is characterized by officials who use the structure of government to codify their sentimentalities: to protect those causes that, in their opinion, are most deserving of aid. But, there is no empiric standard that drives such action. Rather, opinion becomes the engine of government, directing its every move.…

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Tariffs Are Incompatible With the Pluralism of Free Trade

The silver lining to the president’s protectionist trade agenda is the desperation with which he and his officials attempt to sell it under the guise of free trade. One would be hard pressed to come to this realization, given all the nationalist rhetoric the president and his allies are employing to sell tariffs, but it seems free trade is still very much en vogue. Even as President Trump pursues an economic agenda that asserts the…

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Defining “National Security”: A Trip Down the Linguistic Rabbit Hole

Given the centrality of national security to the rationale advanced by the Trump administration in justifying the recently levied tariffs against steel and aluminum, you might think this term might be defined somewhere, either in the relevant legislation or sections of the U.S. Code from which the president is drawing his authority to act. And you would be wrong. The same administration officials—namely Peter Navarro and Wilbur Ross, both of whom are trade-nativists, labeling concerns…

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Trump’s Tariffs Are Economically and Politically Disastrous

In an apparent bid to make mercantilism great again, the Trump administration has amped-up its pursuit of protectionist trade measures in recent months, even as others within the president’s own party descry the adverse effects these policies will likely have on the domestic economy. For his part, the president—always a fan of a good superlative—has touted tariffs on the grounds that they facilitate not simply free trade but a more refined type of trade, one…

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