The third presidential candidacy of Donald Trump has reignited some bad memories of our previous national discussions on trade. Last night, while giving a speech in New Hampshire, the former president once again shared his views on trade as a form of conflict and belief that excessive imports were detrimental to Americans. Consequently, exchanging goods and services is being challenged, and once again, it requires defending.
I came across an excellent essay by one of my favorite contrarians, John Tamny, who wrote a piece published in RealClear Markets. Tamny makes reference to an article he recently read by Ross Kaminsky for The American Spectator. In it, Kaminsky defended the concept of trade. Still, as Tamny often makes clear, despite being an otherwise excellent defense of trade, Kaminsky fell into the common trap of acknowledging the so-called “losers” of trade. But as John Tamny points out, “With Free Trade, There Are No ‘Losers.”
And as Tamny often does, he gave his readers an example we can all relate to: eating. As humans, we all need to eat in order to survive. And how do we access a variety of foods we couldn’t produce ourselves? Through trade. The very act of trade is about improving our circumstances through the exchange of goods and services. It’s a win-win situation.