by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist
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I am firmly against excessive tariffs. I’ve made that crystal clear on a number of occasions. Reasonable tariffs on imported goods are well… perfectly reasonable. At our founding, it was the source of federal government funding. Reasonable import tariffs (imposts) and duties covered the cost of operating the small federal government budget. It paid for the labor and clerical work of the importation and inspection process. As the feds were responsible for little else constitutionally, tariffs were an adequate funding system.
But these days, tariffs could not hope to cover the cost of operating the federal leviathan. They are now more a measure of protectionism worldwide. And I agree that on the world stage, America has allowed itself to be taken advantage of. Other nations expect America to charge minimal import tariffs and duties for the goods they export to us, but few reciprocate.
Nations like China do in fact take advantage of us. They expect us to treat them fairly, but often charge exorbitant tariffs on products we ship to them. And that’s assuming they accept our exports at all. In many cases, they simply do not. They don’t wish to compete with American imports on their own soil. For a long time, it has been rather one-sided.
And for just as long, the American government has put up with inequity, afraid to make waves. Enter President Trump. read more