The Corner

Politics & Policy

Trade and Taxes

I’ve got two new posts: one on the dismal history of U.S. trade protectionism, and one on a possible bait-and-switch by Republicans on taxes.

From the first one:

Whether the trade restrictions concern steel, textiles, semiconductors or automobiles, the common themes are that they cost an enormous amount of money per job saved in the protected industry, place especially large burdens on people with low incomes, and destroy so many jobs in other industries that they often lead to net reductions in employment.

That’s true even when it comes to relative success stories. Tariffs on Japanese motorcycles are often credited with bringing back Harley-Davidson in the 1980s. Lincicome cites research that suggests the tariffs explain only 6 percent of the company’s recovery in sales, and cost consumers about $350,000 per job saved (using today’s dollars). . . .

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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