Thursday, May 4, 2017

Trump the Deal Maker? (Canadian Lumber Edition)

A Don Boudreaux letter to the Boston Globe:
Jeff Jacoby superbly analyzes the Trump administration’s proposal to slap punitive tariffs on softwood lumber imports from Canada – that is, the administration’s proposal to punitively tax Americans who buy softwood lumber from Canadians (“Trump’s tariffs will hurt Americans,” May 3).  The goal, of course, is to reduce the amount of Canadian lumber that we Americans receive in exchange for our dollars.

Mr. Trump boasts about his mastery of the “art of the deal.”  Given his administration’s approach to trade, we can therefore conclude that, in Mr. Trump’s mind, a truly masterful deal-maker is someone who, with each deal, commits himself to give to his trading partner as much as possible while he himself – the masterful deal-maker – gets in return as little as possible.

You’ll forgive me for being skeptical that such ‘artful’ deal-making will increase our prosperity and make America great again.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030
The above originally appeared at Cafe Hayek

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