As negative effects of President Trump’s trade war with China continue to become evident, criticism has been slowly but steadily flowing in from many fiscal conservatives. It’s slow because a lot of so-called conservatives do not want to challenge the President on his policy even though it’s identical to what Senators Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders were pushing just four years ago.
Free trade is no longer a Republican principle. Now, it’s all about fair trade, and conservative legend Thomas Sowell is having none of it.
In an interview with Reason late last year:
What about the view by President Trump that other countries are ripping us off by running trade surpluses?
It’s pathetic. The very phrase “trade surpluses” gives half a story. There are countries that supply mainly goods, physical goods, and there are other things like services that other countries provide, and the United States gets a lot of money from providing services. To talk about one part of the trading and ignore the other part fails to understand that money is money no matter whether it’s from goods or services.
When you set off a trade war, like any other war, you have no idea how that’s going to end. You’re going to be blindsided by all kinds of consequences. You do not make America great again by raising the price to Americans, which is what a tariff does.
This isn’t just about the President and now the Republicans who follow him abandoning their conservative principles. It’s doing real harm to the nation, taking away all the progress they made with the tax cuts. It needs to end soon.