The Human Case for Economic Nationalism

Critics of Donald Trump “America First” economic nationalism are undoubtedly correct when they assert that his policies will raise consumer prices or, put concretely, the $5 made-in-who knows where but probably overseas shirt from Walmart may be history. But, the awaiting price increase is only part of the larger financial perspective, and if viewed more broadly, the picture looks less bleak.

The costs of economic nationalism can be viewed from two vantage points. The dominant perspective, and the one usually favored by multi-national businesses, is to focus on imports as an unqualified good deal for consumers. It is an alluring argument — after all, how many shoppers will pay a premium for an item that comes with a “100% made-in-America” tag?  Imagine if Walmart offered imported products side-by-side with those costing a third or more? A no-brainer or so it would seem. In other words, trade agreements like NAFTA and cheap immigrant labor are a boon for bargain-minded American consumers.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    I know people who will not buy any food products imported from China because they fear that consumption would be hazardous to their health. As John Ruskin wrote, “There is nothing on the market that someone can make inferior and sell for less money, and those who consider price alone are that man’s lawful prey.”

    • ntt1

      Exactly , any culture that would poison babies formula with melamine to boost the protein readings , will have no problem with dumping any and all horrors into prepared foods including cat and dog food. my animals went completely off friskies and whiskas cat food a few years back due to their use of corrupted admixtures made in china.

  • Brett_McS

    “Economic nationalism” has never been tried!