You really cannot make this up.
President Trump is following through on his oft-cited campaign pledge to derail the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. And it appears that no group may be more excited about it than is old
mobster labor leader Jimmy Hoffa’s corrupt union itself, the Teamsters:
Teamsters respond to TPP withdrawal: pic.twitter.com/dgM4K4QK1i
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) January 23, 2017
Like some other pro-free trade conservatives, I was actually very skeptical of handing the Trade Promotion Authority negotiation reins back in 2015 to a President as incorrigibly lawless as Barack Obama. But the underlying macroeconomic evidence is overwhelming that free trade itself is “yugely” beneficial to all parties involved, and it is most unfortunate that it is the trade issue that has been beaten to death in the past couple of years worse than almost any other. As my friend Elliott Hamilton correctly notes, “studies indicate that automation is the bigger cause for the loss of manufacturing jobs more than the free trade agreements that resulted in lower-wage labor.” Overtly protectionist trade policies merely distort Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” process in such a way as to artificially raise prices for consumers.
For reasons having to do with basic public choice theory, free trade is a tougher political issue than it ought to be: the benefits to consumers are greatly dispersed, and the costs to disaffected groups and individuals can be highly concentrated. But, as I have written a couple of times now since Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton on November 8, it is incumbent upon conservatives to push back, when need be, against the insidious Trumpist corrosion of conservatism—which, in this instance, actually means just standing for free-market capitalism. Free trade means literally nothing other than free-market capitalism practiced not as among individual consumers or private enterprises, but as among different nations (or, as the case may be, other multilateral entities). There is a reason that septuagenarian Soviet Union-honeymooning, freedom-despising, earth-worshiping,
socialist communist loonbag Sen. Bernie Sanders hates free trade so much, and that reason is simply because free trade is capitalism.
There is something to be said for “protectionism,” of course—when the object of said “protectionism” is, you know, the global jihad. But foreign economic competition…not so much.
"Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength" is a line that should never, ever go in the economic portion of a political speech.
— Josh Hammer (@josh_hammer) January 20, 2017
But hey, at least Jimmy Hoffa is smiling as he looks at Washington, D.C. from his afterlife perch in
heaven an unknown location. Hopefully that silver lining makes Steve Bannon happy at night.