If you can’t get a fair deal from your friends, from who would you get one? While so-called “free-traders” lambaste President Trump for pushing back on the G-6 for its one-way tariffs and protectionism, the truth is America needs someone to stand up for real, free-trade.
Free-trade is fair trade. Anything less is market manipulation and a tax on Americans for the benefit of none Americans.
From the very beginning of large, global trade agreements, nations have been “opening” up certain of their markets to American products. In return, America has been doing the same. The difference between these trade agreements and real fair trade is that countries designed these agreements to protect certain elements of their economy, while opening trade in other areas, still with some tariffs.
Not surprisingly, globalists have pushed these agreements for two reasons. More trade is good, and multi-national corporations benefit from these agreements by using their dominant positions to leverage into new markets and take advantage of these new trading opportunities to increase profits. That’s good for them, and in general, more trade is good for all or us.
Still, these existing trade agreements often impose higher costs and fewer advantages to America than they impose on the countries with whom we trade.
While some American companies might be profiting wildly, the reality is that certain industries inside the country, from farmers to steel are getting buried. Heck, even the auto-industry agreements are set up so that it makes more sense for American auto-makers to build in Mexico and ship internationally … to avoid tariffs … than it does to build here and pay a tax on every type of exported vehicle.
In that scenario, an American automaker might profit better from cheaper labor and lower per unit costs, plus more exports. However, American workers see jobs lost. What if we just had free trade?
What if we permitted companies to freely sell their goods to other countries, no matter the good, without a tax or tariff?
It would likely be anarchy, with entire industries wiped out in some countries as competition, innovation, leverage, and other factors would permit certain countries to push goods into other countries at prices far cheaper than that country can make them.
Politicians have no interest of any kind in letting the market determine economic or societal outcomes. From where would politicians derive power if they didn’t control the power to tax and regulate markets?
The economy is truly moving well right now. The recovery began in the last few years of the Obama administration, but it has taken off since Trump took over, mostly because business does not fear more regulation and higher taxes. Growth is strong and real wage growth, the best measure of the economy’s strength, is taking off.
Some might say, why mess with the entire system now? Truth be told, now is the best time for these changes, when the economy is strong, producing jobs, and growing. What would make it stronger for American workers and American companies? The answer is free and fair trade.
Are we to believe it is bad that our President chastised our “friends” over unfair trade agreements? Are we to be angry with a President who wants to open more markets, lower our cost of goods, and ensure free competition for our businesses, small and large?
Is it anti-conservative and anti-free trade to propose total free trade, with no restrictions, and no tariffs, as Trump did?
The left is caterwauling over President Trump showing up at the G-6 meeting and telling our European and Canadian trading partners that he wants a better deal, or even just a straight, free open trade zone. What on earth is wrong with that?
America has enormous resources, from natural to man-made. We have the ports, trains, planes, and infrastructure to take advantage of open markets. We are a world technology leader and innovator. Why wouldn’t we want better opportunities for more trade at lower prices?
Guess what, some of our industries will lose. But many of them will win and profit even more. In addition, in a truly open and free market, we will attract more global investment here to take advantage of our superior platform, without the disadvantage of higher tariffs.
You can’t be a “free trader” if you are not fighting for fair trade and to maximize the opening of all markets for American goods and services.
Right now, globalists aren’t free-traders. They are for fixed-trading. They support the veneer of free trade, where certain industries and companies profit with new access to some limited international markets. They think some more trade is free trade, where politicians make the market with tariffs, restrictions, regulation, and taxes. It is not.
Repeat after me … more trade isn’t free trade.
Mr. Trump has set a bold, proactive, and yes, risky path for American trade. But he is betting on Americans in markets based on liberty and free trade. That’s a great bet. He is saying that America is paying the tax for global cronyism, and he thinks it is unfair. He’s right.
If you can’t tell your friends you want a fair deal, open markets, free trade, and unrestrained markets, who then would we tell that to?
Author: Richard Kelsey
Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.
He is an Attorney, a former Assistant Law School Dean, Law Professor, and Virginia state court law clerk. Dean Kelsey was also the CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud. He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV.
Rich graduated from George Mason law school, clerked for the Arlington Circuit Court, and later joined an AM LAW top 10 law firm practicing commercial litigation. He left the firm to be counsel and CEO to a consulting firm, rising to CEO of Turiss, LLC, a technology firm specializing in computer forensics, digital investigations, and fighting cyber-fraud through civil intel services and new technologies. Upon the sale of the company, Kelsey returned to Mason Law, where in the years before his return, he both taught at the school and served as President of the Law Alumni Association. Kelsey was the Assistant Dean for Management and Planning.
At Mason, Dean Kelsey taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation. While serving the former George Mason Law, Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP.
Rich has appeared on radio, TV, and in print hundreds of times as both a legal expert and political and legal commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL. He writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com. He returned to private practice in September of 2016, and he is working on a book/expose on legal education.
In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.
Rich has many opinions, and they are his own. His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.