November 14, 2011
SINCE 1970, American imports have gone from just over five percent of GDP to roughly 17 percent today, and the number of American industrial jobs has plummeted. One compelling argument against a protectionist industrial policy is that it would further empower intrusive and ever-expanding bureaucratic government.
In his book Free Trade Doesn’t Work, Ian Fletcher addresses this issue. He proposes a flat, across-the-board tariff that would be simple to administer and involve no intricate political engineering. He writes:
[O]ne of the great puzzles of American economic history is how the U.S. once succeeded so well under tariff regimes that were not particularly sophisticated. This is where the idea of so-called “natural strategic tariff” comes in. Read More »