The Constitutional Economics of Trump’s Tariffs

March 18, 2018

The two economic theoretical premises that serve to support the case of the current free trade proponents, who oppose the Trump tariffs, are:

1. Sovereign nations have an identifiable national welfare function.
2. Sovereign nations have an identifiable set of factor endowments that establish a comparative advantage in production with trading partners.

Neither of these premises are valid in the current debate over the Trump tariffs, and therefore, most of the argument in favor of “free trade” are invalid.

The proponents of so-called free trade use the term “free trade” as a political tool to gain political support for a set of trade policies that are extremely detrimental to the national economy.

The current theory of international free trade derives, initially, from David Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage, which states that countries get richer when they specialize their production in things they are relatively good at making, and trade the surplus for things they are relatively bad at making.

Ricardo argued that international trade makes all nations richer because it ensures that labor in any single country is used more efficiently. The neoclassical tradition of economics suggests that any improvement in labor productive efficiency will eventually lead to greater national income.

Ricardo, and later Bertil Ohlin, who improved Ricardo’s theory of comparative advantage, were entirely focused on improved production efficiency, and not concerned about income.

Like the two invalid theoretical premises above are assumed to be accurate, most proponents of so-called free trade just assume that increased production efficiency in either labor or capital will eventually lead to increased income, when the global economy reaches equilibrium.

The current political opponents of Trump’s tariff have never presented empirical data on the purported increase in U. S. national income because there is no data.

Even if there was evidence on increased national income, the data would show that the distribution of income is skewed to the top 5% of the national population, and most of that increase is not in personal family households, but in large global corporations.

Given the way the trade agreements were implemented, the total aggregate national income does not increase as a result of the free trade, but the distribution of income has shifted from households to corporations, who gain a bigger piece of the income pie.

Because the U. S. corporations have a U. S. address, their entire global net revenue shows up in the national income accounts. The profits that they make overseas are never repatriated to the domestic U. S. economy, but are used by U. S. corporations in foreign countries to finance foreign operations.

The corporate income that is gained in so-called free trade does not benefit the national social welfare because the foreign profits never make it back to the U. S. income streams.

As an added political benefit for the global corporations, as long as they leave their foreign profits overseas, they do not pay U. S. income taxes on the foreign income.

Diagram 1.1 Trends In Corporate Profit Rates Following So-Called Free Trade Agreements.

In order for the Trump critics to present a valid economic argument in favor of the trade agreements, they would be required to state the variables in their conception of the “national” social welfare function, and then make an argument that the trade agreements moved the national welfare function to a higher income level.

The argument made by proponents for so-called “free trade” is that each nation in the global economy will reach a better social welfare outcome, as a result of “free trade.”

There is no empirical data to support their claim.

Their theoretical argument can be demonstrated in models, but there is no empirical research that confirms their side of the argument of the benefits of the free trade agreements.

The models show, that in theory, and in fantasy, the winners in global trade make so much more income that they could “hypothetically” compensate the 95% of the losers, and, therefore, the national economy would benefit from “free trade.”

“Sometimes, achieving an efficient outcome requires the winners of free trade to compensate the losers,” said Kevin Kliesen, an economist with the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank in his article, Trading Barbs: A Primer on the Globalization Debate.

After his review of the standard operating assumptions in favor of global trade, he adds the important caveat that he takes from another branch of economics called welfare economic theory.

He notes that the great increase in profits for corporations, since 1992, may require the corporate winners of global trade to provide some compensation to all the Americans who have lost their jobs and their incomes.

“Estimates of the net benefits that flow from free trade are substantial,” notes Kliesen. “International trade has increased real household income by between $7,000 and $13,000 since the end of WWII, according to a study by economists Scott Bradford, Paul Grieco and Gary Hufbauer,” (The Regional Economist, October 2007).

The use of the term “household income” by Kliesen leaves the mistaken impression that somehow the corporate profits derived from “free trade” increase the family household income of ordinary American citizens.

Not so. In economic theory, all that the models purport to show is, that if, corporate net income found its way into the domestic economy, that the increase in income would possibly increase the average American household income by $13,000, per year.

In economic theory, it is only necessary to show that the winners could “hypothetically” compensate the losers. The winners are not required to pay actual cash to the losers.

This outcome is a result of the neoclassical tradition of focusing on “production efficiency,” and not focusing on income. This sleight of hand is the major technique of deception deployed by Trump’s critics, when they make their arguments for so-called “free trade.”

Like the theory of global climate warming, where the damage to the global environment from “man-made” carbon pollution can be demonstrated in models, the empirical evidence for either free trade or climate warming, does not exist.

Rather, the evidence that does exist demonstrates the U. S. economy has suffered great structural economic damage as a result of the so-called free trade agreements implemented in the late 1980’s.

The top 5% of the population has enjoyed an incredible increase in profits and incomes, while the other 95% of the population has suffered misery from the trade agreements.

The people who oppose Trump’s tariff never talk about the unfair income distribution that resulted from their “free trade agreements.” They never address the structural economic damage to American capital markets and income multipliers

Rather, their entire argument against tariffs and in favor of free trade, depends on
trade balances, which have absolutely zero economic relationship to increased labor productivity or improved national social welfare.

Trade balances measure international flows of capital and income between national central banks, not improvements in national social welfare.

The best explanation of why the leaders of America, who negotiated the policies that harmed the social welfare of citizens, is provided by the constitutional economic framework of James Buchanan, who was a professor at George Mason University, in Virginia.

His framework can explain why they implemented their policies 40 years ago, and why current free trade proponents today oppose the Trump tariffs.

The constitutional economic argument I am making is that when the globalist corporate Republicans implemented the “free trade” agreements, they substituted the financial welfare of their special interests, as if the special corporate interests represented the national social welfare, to the detriment of citizens in the 350 U. S. metro regions.

Tariffs raise the price of, and reduce demand for, imported goods. The demand that was previously provided by foreign imports is replaced by domestic supplies. The internal domestic supply chains provide the supplies to U. S. producers at a cheaper intermediate demand price than the formerly imported finished goods

The opposition to tariffs is due to a set of large corporations who use the special interest political system to direct financial benefits of global trade to themselves.

In other words, to paraphrase Buchanan, the welfare function that the political elites maximized in the trade negotiations, was their own.

President Trump is right when he states that Americans got a “rotten deal” in the trade negotiations.

The Constitutional Economics of Tariffs in the Natural Rights Republic

In a recent news story about the Trump tariffs, a steel worker in Pennsylvania stated that after the trade agreements had been \implemented, “the U. S. steel mills were left to rot.”

Like so many media accounts of the trade deals, the worker did not identify who was responsible for negotiating the disastrous policies.
James Buchanan and Geoffrey Brennan, in The Reason of Rules: Constitutional Political Economy, have offered an explanation of why the global corporate Republican wing of their party implemented the so-called free trade agreements.

They explain that national and local elected Republicans have selfish personal interests that they promote, as opposed to some conception of promoting the public good or the common wealth.

During the pre-election period, the Republican corporate politicians make promises to coalitions of conservative voters to obtain a majority of votes. After the election, they shift from their promises of serving the special interest coalitions, to using government resources to serve their own interests.

Following Buchanan and Brennan, the current constitution has no rules for prohibiting this behavior, and more importantly, no procedures for the citizens to reclaim their lost freedom, after the constitutional public purpose has been subverted by special interests.

David Landes, In The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, wrote, ”If we learn anything from the history of economic development, it is that culture makes all the difference. In the pursuit of wealth, failure or success are ultimately determined from within, not imposed from outside.”

Landes identified the social/institutional variables that, historically, seemed to contribute to the wealth of nations. These variables were:
• private property rights,
• individual civil rights,
• legal rights of contract,
• consistently stable institutions of government with peaceful measures for the transfer of power.

Buchanan applies the 4 variables of Landes to explain the how the unequal constitutional power in Madison’s constitution results in unequal economic opportunity.

Buchanan discusses the relationship between free markets and governmental power. He states that “…for most persons, the independence offered by the presence of market alternatives offers the maximal liberty possible.”
His main theory is that the 4 natural rights identified by Landes are instrumental in obtaining “maximum individual liberty.”

In other words, there exists a unique set of cultural and political values in America that enable citizens to obtain maximum individual liberty, which allows citizens to pursue their happiness.

For Buchanan, maximum individual liberty results in the greatest rates of upward occupational mobility, and upward mobility results from the greatest rates of economic growth.

The common name of this set of American cultural values is “the natural rights republic.”

When Buchanan discusses the question raised by Hobbes about the force that compels citizens to obey authority, he reaches the same conclusion that Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Buchanan reached 200 years earlier.

“No individual knows in advance where the individual may end up, given the choice between one set of constitutional rules or another,” writes Buchanan.

In the natual rights republic, Buchanan writes, “a rational individual, with a rational self-interest, would choose fair rules for all, aimed at the greatest freedom for all.”

In other words, when American patriots left the state of nature, to form the new nation, there was no prior path or model for them to follow. They implemented constitutional rules that relied on voluntary obedience to the rule of law

As Buchanan points out, in constitutional decision-making under uncertainty, the patriots sought rules that had maximum equal rights for all, with special privileges for none.

The fair constitutional rules provided the context for the autonomous, voluntary citizen obedience to the rule of law.

The end goal of the Articles of Confederation, the new nation’s first constitution, in this application of rational self-interest, was individual freedom. Madison’s constitution of 1787, replaced the first set of cultural values with his conception of the British social class system of politics.
Essentially, Republicans at the national and local level relied on the Madison British class system to pursue their selfish personal interests by promoting the interests of their corporate special interests.

The Republicans used their elected authority in Washington to derive maximum financial benefits for themselves by attaching their own private utility function to the financial utility function of the global corporate special interests.

The main point of the Buchanan and Brennan model is that Madison’s constitution does not contain the process to resolve the conflict between global corporations and the sovereign rights of citizens.

They note that constitutional conflicts must be resolved by reference to fair constitutional rules, and that the current constitution is not based upon fair rules because it elevated the elite interests above the common working class interests.

The current constitution does not address this conflict and citizens have no way of regaining their freedoms. The conflict must be managed in a way that serves the freedom of citizens in America, while providing mechanisms for domestic corporations to compete with foreign corporations.

Trump’s tariffs are aimed at correcting the economic consequences of this constitutional malfunction, created when the Republicans substituted their personal financial interests for the interests of 95% of the American population.

The Negative Economic Consequences of “So-Called Free Trade”

William Greider, in his article, A New Giant Sucking Sound, describes the emergence of the global market as “a race to the bottom.”

“Globalization is entering a fateful new stage,” writes Greider, “in which the competitive perils intensify for the low-wage developing countries much like the continuing pressures on high-wage manufacturing workers in the United States…As one economy after another sinks into contraction, national governments try to support output with tax subsidies…”

Martin Wolf, in Why Globalization Works, states, “Not only is it very difficult (for most citizens) to know what is going on, but most citizens have no interest in doing so. They are “rationally ignorant…”
He states, “It is impossible for the citizenry to reach sensible decisions on most of the matters that come before governments.”

The reason that the two economic premises stated at the top of this article about the benefits of international trade are not valid because, in the global market, nation’s no longer have an identifiable sovereign national economic interest.

The national sovereign interest has been replaced by the global corporate interest.

The national sovereignty, identified above as one of the essential premises for “free trade,” has been replaced by an allegiance to a global, one-world market, operated for the benefit of global bankers and large corporations.

The main problem for American citizens in the natural rights republic is that the functioning of the global economy in the hands of the corporate leaders, is invisible, and deliberately so, as a result of the way the current American special interest political system operates.

President Trump’s language for the special interest political system is “the swamp.”

Mueller, for example, is a special political interest operative of the swamp, doing the bidding of the corporate elites who hate Trump’s America First tariff policies.

The most obvious negative economic effect of the so-called free trade agreements was the direct and indirect job losses in the domestic U. S. economy, in the period of time after 1992.

The direct loss in manufacturing jobs and incomes described in the graphic below can be multiplied by 2, because for each lost job directly lost in manufacturing, another 2 jobs were lost indirectly in the service and supply value chains, called income and employment multipliers by economists.

Those obvious job losses are the main issues in most of the media and academic debate over Trump’s tariffs. That exclusive emphasis on job losses masks three more devastating structural economic losses to the U. S. economy that are not as obvious as the job losses.

Diagram 1.2 The Direct Loss in American Manufacturing Jobs Since 1998.

The three most significant economic effects of the free trade agreements are:
1. The loss of the income and employment multiplier effects that strengthen a fair income distribution throughout the American society. Economists call this loss of income and employment multipliers the “hollowing out” of the American economy. The fair distribution of income, that results from the multiplier effects, supports voluntary obedience to the rule of law.
2. The damage to the process of technological innovation in new product commercialization, and the subsequent effect on the rate of entrepreneurial new venture creation in 350 U. S. metro regional economies. New venture creation leads to the emergence of new future markets, that create future opportunities for upward occupational mobility, and new flows of income.
3. The structural damage to American metro capital markets, that fuel venture capital investments. The former vibrant metro capital markets have been replaced by global banks and global corporations, who control the pace of capital investment to suit their own private, selfish, financial interests.

The primary job losses are a result of companies that no longer exist. When profits from large global corporations do not flow back into the metro domestic economy, small businesses that depend on large corporations to buy supplies from the small business, go bankrupt.

In her report to Congress on Federal programs that support industrial competitiveness, Wendy Schacht cites 350,000 small U. S. manufacturing establishments in 2004. (Cooperative R&D: Federal Efforts to Promote Industrial Competitiveness, CRS Report For Congress, Updated August 20, 2008).

The most recent CRS report at the end of 2008, shows that the comparable number of small manufacturing establishments in the U. S. was about 250,000.

As a result of the Republican Party global trade policies, about 100,000 small U. S. manufacturing firms have gone out of business between 2004 and 2008.

Diagram 1.3. Establishment Entry and Exit, Employment Weighted:

The loss of small manufacturing firms destroyed the ability of the U. S. economy to distribute income fairly, because the trade agreements destroyed the income and employment multiplier supply chains that used to distribute income in America, pursuant to the cultural values associated with voluntary obedience to the rule of law.

As the recent research by the Business Dynamics Statistical agency show, the loss of all manufacturing establishments, after 1992, entailed a huge loss of jobs, which have not been offset, either by jobs from the birth of new establishments, or by jobs created by the global corporations.

What changed, after 1992, was that the historical job creation dynamic at work in America had stopped working. Small, new ventures were not creating jobs fast enough to compensate for the loss of jobs in the older bigger corporations. (Business Formation and Dynamics by Business Age: Results from the New Business Dynamics Statistics, John Haltiwanger, Ron Jarmin and Javier Miranda, May 2008 Preliminary Draft).

The American rate of job creation from new ventures is too low, and the birth rate of new ventures is too low, to offset the loss of jobs from the trade policies.

The major job losses in America, since 2002, are in the older, larger global firms, who are engaged in offshoring their intermediate supply chains. When they offshore, they destroy jobs throughout the American economy.

The rate of job loss in the older firms is greater than the rate of job creation in new firms. And, the rate of new venture creation in America is headed down.

Diagram 1.4. Net Job Creation By Firm Age

Haltiwanger continues, “About 1/3 of the annual job creation rate is due to establishment entry. The very high rate of gross job creation is balanced with a very high rate of gross job destruction. The gross job destruction rate is around 16 percent on average indicated that about 16 percent of jobs that existed one year prior no longer exist.”

For the past 30 years, (starting around 1987), the political system in America has not addressed the fundamental structural labor market weaknesses created by the Republican trade policies.

Diagram 1.5. Job Gains and Losses

The consequence of the global free trade policies was to destroy the American job creation machine, which is one reason why the economic recession of 2008 has had a “jobless” recovery.

Michael Porter, a professor at the Harvard Business School has summarized the macro economic consequences of the so-called free trade policies. Porter concluded that, “globalization and technological change have put pressure on the U.S. economy and especially on working- and middle-class Americans and consumers.”

Porter asks, “Why are large companies and their owners and managers thriving even as working- and middle-class workers and small businesses struggle? For their success, many large companies rely on access to innovation, capital, and high-quality management.”

Porter explains why global corporations are doing so well, since 1992. “The ensuing globalization and technological progress,” explained Porter, greatly benefited American firms.”

Porter states that median real household income has declined 7%, since 1999, with incomes stagnating across virtually all income levels. Median household income in 2015 remains below the peak attained in 1999.

Between the 1970s and the 1990s, the U.S. economy created private-sector jobs at a long-run rate of roughly 2% per year decade after decade. The job growth rate began to decline around 2001.

Porter states that the number of small business firms created in the U.S. was actually lower in 2010 than the number of small business that went bankrupt. The total number of businesses with fewer than 500 employees has declined by more than 5%, since 1999.

After 2008, the rate of job creation in new small firms was not great enough to offset the loss of American jobs in older bigger corporations. The large older firms were shedding about 4 million jobs per year. The new firms were creating about 1 million jobs per year.

Diagram 1.6. Birth Rate of American New Small Technology Ventures Since 1992

Half of the country’s new business establishments created between 2010 and 2014 were clustered in just 20 counties, in the nation.

Since 2000, all the job growth from large corporations is concentrated in just 20 counties.

In terms of damage to domestic capital markets, Porter states that, “Between 2001, the year before the enactment of the trade and tax laws, U. S. corporate direct investment abroad was $119 billion. At the end of 2004, it was $219.8 billion.
Beginning in the late 1990s, private sector investment for equipment, intellectual property and structures began to decline. For 2010–2016, the average quarterly investment by business as a percentage of GDP was lower than it has been since the 1980s.”

Since 1992, however, U. S. corporations with foreign operations have primarily invested their profits overseas.

In other words, one consequence of the Republican trade laws on U.S. economic growth has been to divert about $100 billion in capital investments to other countries, in a 3 year period.

Since 2002, the rate of business investment in America, especially in the nine high technology value chains, has declined dramatically. Without a flow of investment capital from corporate profits back into domestic U. S. economy, there is no economic growth in America.

The minimum required rate of investment in U.S. corporations just to keep the domestic economy running-in-place, and maintain the status quo is about $100 billion per year, about the same magnitude of the increase in foreign investment made by global corporations, over that same period of time.

Running in place means that the level of investment is just enough to replace and replenish the existing capital stock of machinery and equipment in production plants. Running in place does not produce economic growth, and, in the absence of economic growth, citizens are attracted to the siren song of socialism.

The economic term used to describe the level of investment to run in place is “capital consumption adjustment.” Since 2002, the American economy has not had the minimum level of investment required to run in place.

When the minimum required level of capital investment is not made, the economy ratchets down to a new lower level of economic activity.

This “ratcheting down” effect explains why the Obama economy was so weak. Under Obama’s socialism, the economy did not have enough capital fuel to maintain aggregate economic demand at a minimum level of employment.

Diagram 1.7. Trends In the Minimal Rates of Investment Just To Run-In-Place

As a result of the trade deals, the rate of technology innovation in America has been severely damaged.

Majority-owned foreign affiliates of U.S. MNCs (henceforth, foreign affiliates) performed $27.5 billion in R&D abroad in 2004 after adjusting for inflation, up $4.7 billion or 17.4% from 2003, which was the largest annual increase since a 22% rise in 1999.

In general, changes in foreign direct investment in foreign research and development is directly the result of the trade policies in 1992 and 2002. The trade deals provided financial and tax incentives for U. S. corporations to invest in their foreign operations.

“The high price of ‘free’ trade,” notes Robert E. Scott, “results from a set of guarantees designed to stimulate foreign direct investment and the movement of factories within the hemisphere, especially from the United States to Canada and Mexico. NAFTA contained a number of unique provisions designed to provide special protections for investors in order to encourage foreign direct investment in chapter eleven of the agreement, which concerned investment.” (EPI Briefing Paper #147, November 17, 2003.)

Offshoring innovation has had the effect of removing the most important economic component of the innovation-capital market investment mechanism that used to exist in America.

Diagram 1.8. Trends in Corporate Technology Sector Investment Since Offshoring Started

The non-economic term for American technological superiority is sometimes called “American ingenuity.” It is also sometimes referred to, in non-economic documents, as the American cultural value of “self-made” citizens.

The Republican trade and tax policies abdicated freedom in such a way as to make technological innovation the exclusive province of the large corporations, to the detriment of small firms and entrepreneurs.

In abdicating individual freedom, the Republicans served to destroy the American economy of self-made citizens, and replaced it with a society dependent on either global corporations, or the welfare system of the Democrat socialists.

Because of the way that Republicans abdicated freedom, there is no longer a growing middle class of self-made, independent citizens in America.

Economists call the ability of the U. S. economy to innovate America’s initial factor endowment. It is the same variable that David Ricardo would have called America’s comparative advantage.

The reason that the two premises of free trade cited above are no longer valid in the tariff debate is that the so-called free traders managed to destroy America’s comparative advantage in economic growth.

In place of America’s initial factor endowment, they substituted their own selfish, closed, global corporate economy that directs financial benefits to themselves.

At the same moment in American economic history that U. S. corporate profits are not being reinvested in the U. S. economy, the rate of angel capital and venture capital investments in domestic American firms is flat-lining.

A 2002 paper by Stephen Redding of the London School of Economics found that economic growth is contingent upon technological innovation, and is therefore path-dependent.

In other words, the majority of economic growth occurred in those industries most likely to generate or benefit from new technology, and that these industries build on those which came before. They are predicate industries, which could not exist without their respective anchor industries.

Venture capital investments are flat-lining because there are no deals being created at the top of the American new venture pipeline. The deals that used to exist in America now exist in India and China.

Without capital investments in technology commercialization at the top of the pipeline, there is no economic growth.

Without economic growth, there is no job growth.

Without job growth, there is no upward occupational mobility for common citizens.

Without upward occupational mobility in a natural rights republic, common citizens have no reason to obey the rule of law, and they turn to socialism to provide a “fair economic deal.”

Global, one-world socialist government is the political outcome that proponents of so-called free trade wish to preserve in fighting Trump’s tariffs.

The Economc Benefits of Trumps’ Tariffs

In 1789, the U. S. Congress adopted the Pennsylvania Plan of Protection, written by Representative Thomas Fitzsimmons. The Pennsylvania Plan imposed tariffs on steel and wool, among many other items that the elected leaders in Pennsylvania desired to protect.

In his first address to Congress, President Washington stated, “A free people … should promote such manufactures as tend to make them independent on others for essential, particularly military supplies.”

One year after the Tariff of 1789 was signed, George Washington noted, “The number of new manufactures introduced in one year is astonishing.”

In 1893, in an article about the 1789 Tariff debate in Congress, William Hill stated “A new patriotism was awakened, and America began to take measures to foster her industrial growth.”

In his 1791 “Report on Manufactures,” Alexander Hamilton wrote, “Every nation ought to endeavor to possess within itself all the essentials of national supply. These comprise the means of subsistence, habitat, clothing and defence.”

The opponents to Trump’s tariffs do not have a comparable historical record that supports their advocacy of “free trade,” because the goal of free trade, for them, is not economic nationalism. It is globalism.

The opponents of Trump’s tariffs are corporate globalists, and their allegiance is to an ethereal concept of “free trade.” The opponents to Trump’s tariffs are citizens of the world, who cloak their special interests of large corporations as if the corporate interests are the same as the “national economic interest.”

Rather, throughout American history, whenever, and wherever patriots gather to promote the national interest, they act to protect America’s native industries.

Just like in 1789, America’s current native industries are the “anchor industries” that promote economic growth and fair distribution of income.

Trump’s tariffs provide support to two important anchor industries.

The economic benefits of the tariffs are:

1. The re-creation of the income and employment multiplier effects that strengthen fair income distribution throughout the American society. The fair distribution of income supports voluntary obedience to the rule of law.
2. The re-ignition of technological innovation in new product commercialization, and the subsequent effect on the rate of entrepreneurial new venture creation in 350 U. S. metro regional economies. New venture creation leads to the emergence of new future markets, that create future opportunities for upward occupational mobility, and new flows of income.
3. The re-institution of the American metro capital markets, that fuel venture capital investments. The former vibrant metro capital markets have been replaced by global banks and global corporations, who control the pace of capital investment to suit their own private, selfish, financial interests.

In addition to the tariffs on steel and aluminum, Trump must also implement a new type of infrastructure program that supports the flow of capital investment in each of the 350 metro regions.

The small banking and small business capital markets were destroyed by the way the trade agreements were implemented.

The nascent, non-existent metro capital markets will require protection from the global banks, just like the native anchor firms require protection from the unfair trade deals.

Conclusion: The Natural Rights Argument for Tariffs

Part of the fraud of free traders is their political subterfuge that corporate globalism is really about how free markets and free trade spread the economic benefits of growth and prosperity to all segments of the American society.

Markets only perform this function of creating and spreading wealth when markets are competitive.

When markets are not competitive, in other words, when a few big corporate players dominate both the production and the sale of goods and services, markets do not perform their beneficial function of creating and distributing wealth.

This part of the Republican lie is used in a political context to justify monopoly-pricing practices of the large multinational corporations. Global monopoly pricing leads to a boom-bust global economic cycle because it leads to wild speculation in prices and assets.

The enduring economic legacy of the free trade agreements is global economic instability and increased poverty.

By strengthening the U. S. domestic economy with tariffs, Trump returns America to the essential premise of global trade.

The benefits of global trade are only obtained when each nation defines its own national sovereign economic interest, and defends its own sovereign national borders.

I am Laurie Thomas Vass, the leader of the Citizens Liberty Party.