by Rod D. Martin
June 8, 2019

Republicans have long been the party of Free Trade. Donald Trump — and a growing number of working class Americans — ask whether the trade we have is really free. It’s a fair question.

The AP ran a story yesterday entitled “Free traders no more? GOP warms up to Trump’s use of tariffs”. It’s worth reading but it missed the point.

I’ve been saying this for over two years now: a businessman like Donald Trump, with companies across the world, doesn’t want tariffs. He wants free trade. 

But he’s not willing to let the world pee on his leg and tell him it’s raining.

The RINOs (and some Libertarians) who attack Trump’s use of tariffs (1) couldn’t negotiate their way out of a paper bag (as they’ve demonstrated all too painfully for the last quarter century), and (2) completely miss Trump’s point: that access to America’s markets is an overwhelming benefit to others and strength to us which, used correctly, can reduce other countries’ trade barriers (tariffs, IP theft, etc.) and induce better behavior generally.

Those RINOs (and some Libertarians) have made free trade an idol to be worshiped rather than a practical outcome to be pursued. They fret and cry and scream at Trump because he won’t bow to their altars while ignoring the reality: he just wants to get it done.

One-way free trade is not free trade. And the whole world will be made better when we get the real thing rather than the fake sell-out version we’ve been handed for the last 25 years. We might even get some better behavior on non-trade matters, as with Turkey (Andrew Brunson) and Mexico (the just-agreed border enforcement deal).

Funny how the Beltway hand wringers are always in love with “economic sanctions”, until someone comes along who imposes real ones. Free trade will absolutely make the world better. But America deserves a better deal.

Trump on Trade: Two-Way or No Way originally appeared as a Facebook post by Rod D. Martin.