The Republican Party has always defended the values of free enterprise and free trade. The ideological foundation of the party holds that the separation of economy and state are necessary to ensure freedom and prosperity. Yet Donald Trump, enjoying around 41% support nationally in the GOP primary, has shown a complete hostility towards the ideas of economic freedom; making those of us who are following such things wonder if he’s in the wrong party….
Here are 5 positions which demonstrate Trump’s contempt for free markets.
If you were to sum up Trump’s economic plan in one word it would undoubtedly be “protectionist.” Trump wants to use the power of the federal government to limit trade and steer commerce in a direction he feels is beneficial. Trump has declared that he would seek to stop Ford Motor Company from building a Mexican plant, threatening a 35% tariff on foreign imported cars.
This is a man who calls Bernie Sanders a communist yet wants the president of the United States to bully private businesses. Ironic, to say the least.
The Washington Post writes:
Such a tariff would violate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which, like it or not, is the law of the land — not to mention the Constitution, unless Trump is relying on some little-known codicil that empowers the president, not Congress, to levy tariffs.
Never mind all that: Trump’s idea would be terrible even if feasible. For reasons familiar to all Economics 101 students, blunt-force protectionismdestroys jobs, probably many more than it “saves.”
In the simplest terms, Trump’s approach amounts to an increase in the regulatory and tax burden on U.S.-based businesses. Other things being equal, the heavier that burden, the less likely businesses would be to invest in the United States, and the fewer jobs would be created.
Investors might get especially skittish if policy can change at the whim of a White House wheeler-dealer who relishes dissing CEOs by phone — and who told Fox News’s Chris Wallace on Sunday that, in negotiations, “I want to be unpredictable, because, you know, we need unpredictability. Everything is so predictable with our country.” So much for a stable business climate.
Perhaps, cowed by Trump, Ford would keep its old plant in Michigan. But it would darn sure think twice about building the next one there, knowing that ultimate control belonged to the Trump regime. Come to think of it, the safest bet for Ford, and others, would be to build all plants in Mexico — or pretty much any other country that appreciates free enterprise.