Why is it that an argument that sounds utterly logical and utterly ethical from the point of view of an American who defends American tariffs on imported goods should not feel equally logical and equally ethical from the point of view of the Mexican or Canadian on the other side of the border?
There is a reason for this. His argument is ludicrous. When he applies it to people across the border, the argument becomes far more obviously ludicrous. So, he prefers not to consider what happens on the other side of the border.
.. the argument for tariffs is economically irrational. It is easier to see this when you are the victim of a tariff. Your self-interest clarifies the argument. It makes clear that a pro-tariff argument is a defense of special-interest laws that favor inefficient producers who cannot compete effectively with imports. Customers prefer imports. Customers must therefore be thwarted through state coercion, domestic
producers assert. "The customer is always right, except when he buys imports!"
.. an ethical defense of liberty, as well as an economic defense of liberty, applies equally to both sides of any national border. Anyone who claims to defend market liberty for his own people should be equally prepared to defend market liberty for the people on the other side of the national border. This is the doctrine of the rule of law. This widespread acceptance of this principle has made the West rich.
The case against tariffs is the case against undeclared warfare. It is as simple as that. The case against tariffs is the case against special-interest politics based on a completely false economic analysis that is ultimately welfare state economics.
Every tariff that is imposed deliberately to restrict the import of goods and services from abroad is a mini-act of war. Tariffs should be seen as acts of war. They should be analyzed economically and ethically as acts of war. During wartime, they are clearly seen as acts of war. They are accepted by the voters in the name of the life-and-death struggle of military conflict. The problem is, the logic of peace is not extended to imported goods after hostilities have ceased.