Tag Archives: protectionism

Protectionism is theft

Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

No producer has a right to consumer patronage. Period. Business people who wish to sell outputs abroad should reckon the risk of foreign-governments’ import restrictions (or export subsidies) in the same way that they reckon each of countless other risks of enterprise — risks such as changes in consumer tastes that make their products unappealing, and increases in input prices that render their production methods too costly. In a market economy no business has an ethical right to demand that government protect it from such risks by restricting consumers’ rights. The same is true for the risks of foreign-government interventions.” (01/08/18)


US Commerce Department upholds 300% tariff on Bombardier jets to benefit corporate welfare queen Boeing


Source: CNBC

“The U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday finalized duties of nearly 300 percent on passenger jets made by Bombardier, a win for Boeing, which lodged the complaint against its Canadian rival. The decision escalates the bitter trade dispute between the two air craft manufacturers, a battle that has ensnared one of the largest U.S. airlines and strained relations between the U.S. and Canada. The Commerce Department first recommended the duties on Bombardier’s CSeries jets, earlier this autumn after Boeing complained that the planes were dumped in the U.S. below cost and that the company received unfair government subsidies in Canada. Bombardier said the Commerce Department did not consider a common practice of airplane manufacturers in which they offer discounts to launch customers.” (12/20/17)


Corporate welfare queen Boeing begs Uncle Sugar to protect it from mean ol’ Bombardier at trade hearing

Source: Seattle Times

“Boeing and Canada’s Bombardier squared off Monday in a case that’s putting profits and diplomatic ties on the line. In a daylong hearing before the U.S. International Trade Commission, Kevin McAllister, the head of Boeing’s commercial-airplanes division, argued that Bombardier’s sale of its CSeries jets at what he said are below fair-market prices poses an existential threat to Boeing’s 737 MAX 7. ‘Our Max 7 is at extreme risk,’ McAllister told the trade panel. ‘If you don’t level the playing field now, it will be too late.’ Boeing’s push to have tariffs imposed on sales of the CSeries threatens to block Delta Air Lines from taking delivery of the 75 CSeries jets it ordered in 2016. But Greg May, Delta’s senior vice president for supply-chain management and fleet strategy, said Boeing’s filing of the complaint is ‘absurd.’ ‘Boeing did not lose this sale to Bombardier,’ May told the panel. ‘When we chose to add the CS100 aircraft to our fleet, Boeing simply did not and does not have the right-sized aircraft.'” (12/18/17)


Protectionism is immoral

Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“Perhaps the greatest contribution that economics makes to the analysis of trade is that it shows that many more humans than are seen by protectionists are affected by trade. It’s the economist who points out that, in addition to those humans in the domestic economy whose jobs are protected by tariffs, there are humans in the domestic economy whose jobs are destroyed by tariffs. It’s the economist who points out that the artificial hike in incomes created by tariffs for some humans in the domestic economy occurs only because other humans in the domestic economy suffer a larger, artificial cut in incomes. And it’s the economist who understands better than anyone else that the term ‘human costs’ is ridiculously redundant: all costs are borne by humans. All that said, my support, ultimately, for free trade is not based on economics. It’s based on ethics.” (12/16/17)


The “level playing field” line is a poor excuse for protectionism

Source: Cato Institute
by Ryan Bourne

“Occasionally a politician says something that personifies their worldview. Last week, it was Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who expressed the old eurocrat canard that free trade requires ‘a fair and level playing field.’ Asked a Brexit-related question, Varadkar was quick to state that continued free trade across the Irish border required UK regulatory alignment on things such as the environment, food standards, and labour laws. Such musings are terrible economics. The whole point of international trade is the ability to acquire products from other countries of differing quality at different prices, according to your own preferences.” (12/12/17)


A series of questions for protectionists

Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“Bob has for years chosen to buy beer from Augie. One day, Bob chooses to give up drinking alcoholic beverages. As a result, Bob stops buying beer from Augie. Augie’s reduced sales cause him to lay some workers off. Many of these workers have worked for decades in Augie’s brewery and have skills that are not easily transferred to other employers. Should Bob be prevented from giving up drinking alcoholic beverages? Or, at least, should Bob be punitively taxed for giving up drinking alcoholic beverages? If so, why? Bob has for years chosen to buy beer from Augie. One day, Bob invents a machine for making beer in his garage …” (12/11/17)


Open letter to President Trump: Avoid trade restrictions on solar panels

Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by various

“Dear President Trump, On behalf of the undersigned organizations, representing millions of Americans, we urge you to reject any trade restrictions in Inv. No. TA-201-075 (Safeguard). If trade restrictions are imposed, the cost of solar products in the United States could double, endangering tens of thousands of good paying domestic jobs within the solar industry.” (10/27/17)


More questions for protectionists

Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“– Does your neighbor have the right to take up vegetable farming in his backyard without being fined by the government for doing so? – Does your neighbor have the right to repair his ten-year-old car in order to keep it running for a few more years? – Does your neighbor have the right to change the oil, with his own hands, in his own car? – Does your neighbor have the right to buy a used car? – Does your neighbor have the right to sell his car, to move closer to work, and to walk or bicycle daily to work rather than drive to work?” (10/28/17)


President Trump shouldn’t give in to the solar industry’s drama

Source: Cato Institute
by David Boaz

“Any source that supplies solar panels to American consumers and businesses is a competitor of the American industry. And any source that can deliver any product cheaper than American companies is a tough competitor. Domestic producers will no doubt gain by imposing a tariff on their Chinese competitors, but American companies that install solar power will lose, by having to pay higher prices for panels. Indeed, as is often in the case in trade matters, not all the companies in the industry are in agreement. This case was brought by two companies, but the largest solar trade group in the nation, the Solar Energy Industries Association, opposes tariffs. The association says that if the two companies get what they are asking for, prices for solar power will rise, consumer demand will fall, and the industry will lose some 88,000 jobs, about one-third of the current American solar workforce. Interestingly, the two companies that brought the complaint, Suniva and SolarWorldAmericasTwo, are based in the United States but are respectively owned by German and Chinese firms.” (10/18/17)


Boeing whines: “Mean ol’ Bombardier found a way around our corporate welfare scam”

Source: NBC News

“Boeing late Monday dismissed a deal between Airbus and Bombardier to make CSeries jets in Alabama, calling it an attempt to dodge import duties recommended by the U.S. Commerce Department following the U.S. airplane maker’s trade complaint. ‘This looks like a questionable deal between two heavily state-subsidised competitors to skirt the recent findings of the U.S. government,’ a Boeing spokesman said. ‘Our position remains that everyone should play by the same rules, for free and fair trade to work.'” [editor’s note: Boeing’s definition of “free and fair trade” is “tax the hell out of the serfs to keep us loaded down with ‘defense’ contracts, and make sure no one is allowed to compete with us in the US passenger aircraft market” – TLK] (10/17/17)