tional — fell into chaotic confusion.4
But in ratifying the Constitution, all
states agreed to impose no burden on
interstate commerce, and we now have
the largest free trade area in the world.
It would admittedly be much more
difficult to establish a free trade system
with the peoples of Europe who belong
to ancient and varied races, histories,
and civilizations. But it is worth a try.
The alternative is more American aid.
or reduced exports and unemployment.
By abolishing tariffs we would demonstrate to the world that we mean what
we say about "free enterprise." While
screaming about unfair competition
from abroad, socialistic industries, and
international cartels, American advocates of the "protectionist" tariff are.
in effect. Irving to preserve their own
brand of government protection and
non-competition. We simply aren't practicing what we preach. If we would
abandon our tariffs, we would greatly
strengthen our own position in urging
Europe to abandon restrictive practices
and trade policies.3
ECONOMY WOULD GAIN
Our economy, too, would gain from
lhe specialization and comparative advantage in production to be found all
over I he- world.
If Australia can produce wool more
efficiently than we can, fine. American
wool producers can cither increase their
efficiency or turn their energies to
something they can do better than the
Australians producing dishwashers,
for example. Then tbe consumers not
just the' producers, but all the people,
in America as well as in Australia —
can enjoy a greater abundance and
lower prie-es of both wool and dishwashers.
Protective tariffs are an essential
feature of the economics of scarcity.
They represent |he same economic thinking of the New Dealers who slaughtered
pigs in order to protect the pig market.
1 nder a tariff system, production rather
than consumption becomes the objective
of industry and commerce: and the interest of lhe consumer is sacrificed to
that of the producer.
In effect, tariffs are an expensive
form of priec control. You cannot
logically defend tariffs and oppose government controls of prices and wages
and other violations of the free-market
One of the worst evils of tariffs is
thai they furnish a rationale --a justification for a government-controlled
They are. in fact, tbe original spring-
l.eearel for lhe arguments of governmental controllers and planners.
Free trade is a feature- of the economics of abundance, in which goods
arc produced to be used. Free trade
serves the interest of the consumers
rather than the interest of special economic groups.3
Free trade promotes prosperity in the
—Wide World Photos
At top left, stevedores sort bales of sheet rubber which arrived in New York from
Malaya under exchange arrangements of the Marshall Plan. At right, thousands and thousands of tons of coal are shipped annually from the United States to Europe, the Far East,
and South America. Lower, warehouseman checks a shipment of a million pounds of potatoes
imported from Canada.
only way possible — abundant produd"
lion of goods."'
High prices and high wages do not
spell out prosperity. A man, or a family.
or a nation is prosperous materially
when it has all the material goods l'
Free trade promotes the highest |"'s'
sible production by permitting each region of tbe earth to specialize in producing those things best suited to its
climate, ils soil, ils resources, or the
~|>c< ial skills of its people.
The infant-industry theory always
crops up in arguments for tariffs — the
theory thai new industries cannot compete, while in their infancy, wilh established foreign industries.
If this theory bad any validity, ■'
should be applied domestically as well
as internationally. This, of course. wotiW
require the government to subsidize
every new business venture until someone decides that it is old enough an"
strong enough to stand on its own fee'
and meet competition.
Tariff advocates fear lhal competiti°n
with "cheap" foreign labor will drive
down American living standards. 'l"te
fact is, however, that foreign labor is
expensive, rather than "cheap," because
it is much less productive than American labor.0
Tbe United States, wilh thc high'*1
wage scales, has the' world's lowest ]''"'
duction costs. Il is absurd lo fear th*
our great industries would be put oU
of business bj competition with foreit-'"
industries which are far behind ours •"
equipment, efficiency, and capacity '°r
EASY ACCESS TO MARKETS
The American producer has the addj'
tional advantage of easy access to "'S
markets, while foreign-produced go"""
musl include the cost of transportati0"
half-way around the world.
The compel il ion with foreign goon-'
instead of destroying our own industrif*
should spur them to cost-culling and i"'
, ' r.. . ... h , ..„>r
eei-,,1 efficiency, which means
prices to the consumer, which ine:1|,s
more consumer purchasing, which me*1"
greater profits to the producer.
Vmerican tariffs an- as outmoded *•
During the depression of the l'';,)"
many governments tried to find si"''",',
behind various kinds of protective tra*
their own industries and achieve "''
tional self-sufficiency. Their "'/"'',
failed, and the free world today '" ".
difficulty due in pari lo these dis"'r
lions of the normal flow of trade , ,
Close Lies can be maintained "'.
other countries only if the econo"1,
lies are strong and mutually bencfic"1'|
If we would abolish tariffs, we »'"^
benefit as individual consumers 'r"
cheaper prices on things we buy.
FACTS 'FORUM MOWS, April