Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cuban cigar, anyone?

Issues: Trade

I am an unapologetic advocate of free trade, and so do not subscribe to the "us versus them" attitude towards trade/manufacturing/jobs. Americans should have unrestricted access to any good or service from anybody anywhere. Import/export quotas and trade "agreements" are not free trade; they're managed trade, and they can be political weapons that distort the market for the benefit of special interests.

Simply put, the government should not be in the business of bestowing "protective" benefits on certain industries, nor should it be erecting barriers to trade with other nations for political reasons. The power to selectively meddle with trade policy is the power to play more political games with the economy. Only the politically connected benefit from these policies- the rest of us pay for it in real ways that are hard to detect: higher prices, fewer options, and lower quality goods than we would otherwise have. This automatically puts a squeeze on consumers and frustrates economic activity.

Rather than play games with protectionist policy, I support a uniform tariff on all imports across the board. This will remove power from politicians and put it back in the hands of the American consumer. Moreover, I will push for unfettered free trade with all nations. I will vote against any legislation that imposes a barrier to free trade with any nation, including sanctions, quotas, and embargoes.

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