Free Trade Enriches Us All

Because of my research for our new musical “Convention: the Birth of America,” which is about the 1787 Constitutional Convention, I have become quite familiar with the beliefs of our Founders. And one of those beliefs, which was enshrined in Article I, sections 9 and 10 of our Constitution, was that there would be no tariffs imposed on trade between or among the states. Can you imagine the harmful effect it would have had if, for example, Virginia had been able to have imposed tariffs for goods it imported from Maryland? Such tariffs would have been deeply destructive to our nation’s economy.  As a result, Virginia, Maryland and all of the other states since that time have been able to focus upon what they did best, and also derive the benefit of receiving goods and services from other states that were derived from what they did best as well. And this accrued to everyone’s benefit.

But today it is far easier for businesses in our country to trade with China, India, Germany or any other country than it was for Maryland to trade with Virginia in the 18th Century.  And trade barriers among countries have the same effect as they would have had among our states. So let China, Mexico, Japan and Indonesia focus upon what they do best, and let our consumers here benefit by being able to purchase high quality products for reasonable competitive prices from those countries. All the while the businesses in our country will be able to focus upon what they do best, with the same result.  And, besides, this will also bring numerous other additional benefits.  For example, countries have a deep tendency not to go to war with their own customers, so this will reduce military strife. And if the people in Mexico, Guatemala and Indonesia are better able to profit from producing goods in their own countries, their economy will be stronger, with the result that not so many people will feel the necessity to emigrate from their country to ours. So, once again, Liberty works!

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