Banning China is not the Answer

I suppose one of the best things about democracy is allowing debate and the free exchange of information and ideas. But democracy can also lead politicians and legislative bodies to make the most idiotic foot-in-mouth statements that would never see the time of day in some parts of the world. Consider how one town in Florida is attempting to ban its local municipal offices from purchasing Chinese goods (hat-tip: Tony Poshek). According to an article introduced by the mayor and his protectionist cronies, "The ordinance would prevent the city from buying any items costing more than $50 that are manufactured or assembled in China or that contain more than 50 percent components from China. Exceptions are for emergency purchases, if the item is not available otherwise or if the cost is more than 150 percent higher."

What's the Mayor's rationale for introducing this bill, you ask? "We are losing jobs left and right to them," he was quoted as saying. For me, the scary thing about statements like this is that they reflect an anti-trade sentiment that is rising across the United States. Indeed, for myopic protectionists such as the Mayor in question, it really is an "us" versus "them" fight. Personally, given the rise of statements like this, I don't think that I'm being outlandish in my prediction that after next year's election, we'll see a more isolationist policy stance on trade -- and China trade in particular.

Jason Busch

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