Trump’s Tariff Wars

From: M
Sent: Friday,
To: walter block

Dear M:

I suggest a unilateral US declaration of free trade with all other nations, China included, regardless of their own tariff policies. I’m pretty sure that Ron Paul would support exactly that. There is indeed some evidence that President Trump pursues his tariff wars with the ultimate goal of a pure free trade regime. He has said as much. However, there is also strong evidence to the contrary, his oft-repeated mercantilist statements.

Some readings on this:

Anderson, 1999; Barron, 2017; Bastiat, 1848A, 1848B; Block, 1976, ch. 23, 2013, ch. 2; Block, Horton and Walker, 1998; Boudreaux, 2010, 2016A, 2016B, 2017; Brandly, 2002; Brown, 1987; DiLorenzo, 2018; Ebeling, 2018; Epstein, 2016; Folsum, 1996; Friedman and Friedman, 1997; Gwartney, et. al, 1976; Hazlitt, 1946, ch. 11; Johnsson, 2004; Krasnozhon, Simpson and Block, 2015; Landsburg, 2008; McGee, 1994A, 1994B; McMaken, 2016; Mises, 1927; Mullen, 2015; Murphy, 2004; Ricardo, 1821; Roberts, 2016; Rothbard, 2005; Rouanet, 2016; Smith, 1776; Vance, 2016; Wenzel, 2018A, 2018B; Williams, 2017A, 2017B

Anderson, William L. 1999. “Tariffs Are Sanctions.” December 17;

Barron, Patrick. 2017. Two Common Objections to Unilateral Free Trade.” April 6;

Bastiat, Frederic. 1848A. “The Balance of Trade.”

Bastiat, Frederic. 1848B [2018]. “Must Free Trade Be Reciprocal?” March 14;

Block, Walter, Joseph Horton and Debbie Walker. 1998. “The Necessity of Free Trade,” Journal of Markets and Morality, Vol. 1, No. 2, October, pp. 192-200

Block, Walter E. 2008 [1976]. Defending the Undefendable. Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute; available for free here:

Block, Walter E. 2013. Defending the Undefendable II: Freedom in all realms; Terra Libertas Publishing House; isbn: 978-1-908089-37-3; ;

Block, Walter E. 2018A. “The Road to Free Trade.” The Epoch Times. October 29;

Block, Walter E. 2018B. “Trump’s Fake Fix for a Bad Economic Policy; Using tax dollars to bailout farmers hurt by President Trump’s tariffs is not the way to strengthen the economy.” New York Times, July 26;;

Brandly, Mark. 2002. “A Primer on Trade.” November, 4;

Boudreaux, Donald J. 2010. “On Trade and Currency Manipulation.” January 5;

Boudreaux, Donald J. 2016A. “Should Gates clean his own toilets?” August 9;

Boudreaux, Donald J. 2016B. “On Being Too Rigid & Dogmatic & Inflexible on Free Trade.” December 19;

Boudreaux, Don. 2017. “Trump’s Ignorance Is Matched Only by His Thuggishness.” January 3;

Brandly, Mark. 2002. “A Primer on Trade.” November, 4;

Brown, Pamela J. 1987. “Free Thought and Free Trade: The Analogy Between Scientific and Entrepreneurial Discovery Process,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer, pp. 289-292;

DiLorenzo, Thomas J. 2018. “Trade and the Rise of Freedom.” March 7;

Trade and the Rise of Freedom

Ebeling, Richard. 2018. “Trump’s protectionist follies threaten a trade war.” March 5;

Trump’s Protectionist Follies Threaten a Trade War

Epstein, Richard A. 2016. “The Rise of American Protectionism.” March 14;
Folsum, Jr., Burton W. 1996. The Industrial Revolution and Free Trade
Friedman, Milton and Rose Friedman. 1997. “The Case for Free Trade.” Hoover Digest No. 4.

Gwartney, James, Robert Lawson and Walter E. Block. 1996. Economic Freedom of the World, 1975-1995, Vancouver, B.C.: The Fraser Institute

Hazlitt, Henry. 2008 [1946]. Economics in One Lesson. Auburn, AL: Mises Institute;

Johnsson, Richard C.B. 2004. “On Ricardo and Free Trade.” January 12;

Krasnozhon, Leo, David Simpson and Walter E. Block. 2015. “Fair trade: Its Real Impact on the Working Poor.” The Review of Social and Economic Issues (RSEI). Vol. 1, No. 2, Spring, pp- 5-28;;; translation by ‘Alexandru Butiseacă’

Landsburg, Steven E. 2008. “What to Expect When You’re Free Trading.” The NY Times. January 16;

McGee, Robert W., 1994A. A Trade Policy for Free Societies: The Case Against Protectionism, Quorum Books.

McGee, Robert W. 1994B. “The Fatal Flaw in NAFTA, GATT and All Other Trade Agreements,” Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business, Vol. 14, No. 3, 549-565.

McMaken, Ryan. 2016. “To Oppose Free Trade Is To Embrace Violence.”

Mises, Ludwig von. Mises, Ludwig von. 1927. Liberalism: In the Classical Tradition. Auburn, AL: the Mises Institute;

Mullen, Tom. 2015. “Trump’s Protectionist Fallacies Have Been Refuted By Free Market Economists for Hundreds of Years.” August 31;

Murphy, Robert P. 2004. “Can Trade Bring Poverty?” December 24;

Ricardo, David. 1821 [1912]. The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, 3rd ed., London: J. M. Dent

Roberts, Russ. 2016. “The Human Side of Trade.” December 11;

Rothbard, Murray N. 2005. Protectionism and the Destruction of Prosperity. Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute;

Rouanet, Louis. 2016. “The Case for Unilateral Free Trade.” October 13;

Smith, Adam. [1776] 1979. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund

Vance, Laurence. 2016. “Free trade is fair trade.” June 1;

Free Trade Is Fair Trade

Wenzel, Robert. 2018. “Pat Buchanan: Foundational War Hawk.” March 8;

Wenzel, Robert. 2018. “Most Pro-Tariff and Anti-Tariff Supporters Use the Same Dumb Argument.” March 9;

Williams, Walter E. 2017A. “International Trade Thuggery.” January 18;

Williams, Walter E. 2017B. “Trade Ignorance and Demagoguery.” May 5;

The US Is Protectionist

Best regards,



6:59 pm on November 10, 2018