There is a typically trenchant column from Kurt Schlichter writing at Townhall about the matter of tariffs (what more lengthy political controversy is there in our nation’s history). We found the points close to our position and go on to add a few, but first read his.
We share Schlichter’s history of support for as unfettered trade as possible. We agree with his current assessment and appreciate his big question, to the effect, what else are we supposed to do when other countries do not abide by agreements or circumvent or game, the spirit of such “deals”, necessitating a better agreement? Doing the appropriate can mean driving them to the bargaining table with a stick. Sure they can “stick back” but we thought by the lights of proponents of doing nothing that we were really on the same page with other countries . . . or is it that they really are trying to protect their advantage ill-gotten or not?
Even if there is no violation per se of trade agreements and we simply signed a bad deal, if other countries will not abide by the principle of fair trade, well it is entirely appropriate that we assert ourselves and no longer be taken advantage of. We are also ill at ease with the intrusiveness and lack of sovereignty of big trade deals and are not at all enamored with multilateral deals.
Some say let the other countries in essence subsidize our raw materials
or consumer purchases. Of course that is only half the issue when they punish our exports to them. And we are also uneasy with the homogenization from the absolutist idea of “unfettered trade” that seems corrupting of culture, or subsidies evil ones.
Doctrinaire free traders seem to think trade effects that result in national dependence are dismissable or largely one-way. The more businesses are acutely dependent on imports or exports the more they scream not for the national interest but their own, regardless if it is in our national economic interest or violate our cultural standards. Agitation for open boarders is also a trade issue implied by some unfettered trade proponents. Our view is that the wholesomeness of national sovereignty and national capacity, in a myriad of areas, and cultural stability should not be dismissed.