What Did Milton Think? – TARIFFS
In the summer of 1970 Milton Friedman wrote an op-ed article about tariffs. How does it relate to what’s going on today?
Here’s an excerpt from that article:
“The proponents of quotas say, ‘Free trade is fine in theory but it must be reciprocal. We cannot open our markets to foreign products if foreigners close their markets to us.’ Japan, they argue, to use their favorite whipping boy, ‘keeps her vast internal market for the private domain of Japanese industry but then pushes her products into the U.S. market and complains when we try to prevent this unfair tactic.’
The argument sounds reasonable. It is, in fact, utter nonsense. Exports are the cost of trade, imports the return from trade, not the other way around.”