Michael Tanner from CATO is on NRO taking The Donald and the Democrats to the woodshed on trade.
There is a good reason for the [Democrat] rhetoric. Several recent studies, from researchers at Harvard, Columbia, the IMF, and two different branches of the Federal Reserve, have all concluded that the tariffs imposed by President Trump on China and others have indeed hurt American consumers and threatened economic growth domestically and internationally.
As Michael’s title says, the Democrats are no better.
But with the exception of extreme long-shot Representative John Delaney, every major Democratic candidate either joins Trump in opposing the TPP or is highly critical of the current negotiation.
You knew that John Delaney was running for the Democrat nomination, right?
Sidebar: Wisconsin is an open primary state. Suppose that John or another sensible Democrat like Joe Sestak is still in the running for the nomination. Would MWG take a Democrat ballot and vote for one of them? What would such a nomination do to the probability of The Donald or the Dems winning? We have not done this much math since grad school. End Sidebar.
So 2020, just like 2016 presidential election, shapes up to be a binary choice but there is no choice that supports of free trade.
As always, MWG is with Kevin D. Williamson on trade. In the NRO Corner, Kevin quotes his acerbic self:
Protectionists often describe reciprocity as if it were a cover charge for admission to American markets, but that gets the issue exactly backward: The question isn’t whether Washington may properly interfere with foreign sellers but whether it ought to interfere with American buyers. The case for allowing Senator Sanders to interpose his political interests between buyers and sellers is non-obvious, on either moral or economic grounds. It takes a special kind of stupid to believe that a voluntary exchange — willing seller, willing buyer — is transmuted into a form of hideous predation simply because some of the parties to the transaction may hold different passports.
We are with Kevin in supporting unilateral free trade. We wish there was a major candidate that was supporting it in 2020 but there isn’t. So when you make your decision between The Donald and the Democrat in 2020 free trade will not relevant to your decision unless there is a big surprise.