June 30, 2016—In under two minutes, Jacob Hornberger, president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, destroys Donald Trump’s ludicrous idea that protectionism will make us better off.
Donald Trump is going on the attack against Hillary Clinton on the issue of trade.
He says he’s going to tear up all those trade agreements that the United States has with people around the world. He’s going to start trade wars with China and who knows who else. In other words, that 50-foot wall that he wants to build around America to keep out illegal immigrants, he wants [to build another wall] to keep out goods and services with the aim of protecting American businesses from foreign competition.
This is an absolute disaster!
I mean, what Trump doesn’t understand is that free trade, that is when people are free to trade with others, whether the others are local or across the country or different parts of the world, is one of the keys to rising standards of living. That’s because when people enter into an exchange with someone else, they both are giving up something they value less for something they value more.
So it’s a disaster that Trump is now really adopting, he’s tacking left again, he’s adopting all the protectionist, anti-free trade positions of Bernie Sanders.
Now that’s not to say that Hillary Clinton’s any better. She believes in managed trade, that the government should control what the American people do with their own money. And she’s a firm believer in sanctions and embargoes, which are really just a form of government control of economic activity, but oftentimes very deadly, as we saw with all the children that were killed in Iraq with the sanctions, and the misery in Cuba with the embargo there and in North Korea. It goes on and on, Iran [as well].
The real key to this is freedom of trade. And ideally, it would happen through Constitutional amendments so that we wouldn’t have to worry about these public officials infringing on this fundamental right where we put freedom of trade right there in the First Amendment, with freedom of religion and freedom of the press. That’s one of the keys to rising standards of living and economic freedom in America.