Free trade is good, and so is the new North American tariff deal – Washington Examiner


Good news: On Friday, the U.S. has reached a deal with Canada and Mexico to end tariffs on metal imports.

As first reported by Politico, “The agreement completely lifts the 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum. In a development that will bring relief to pro-traders, it does not involve quotas.” As the Washington Examiner’s Colin Wilhelm notes, this should expedite congressional passage of the president’s renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Still, the most basic reason why this agreement is good news is the nature of free trade.

Free trade, where supported by fair enforcement mechanisms, is an inherently good thing. It fosters competition that reduces prices for consumers and companies, and incentivizes economic dynamism. We can have confidence that this agreement will have mutual benefit.

Of course, China stands apart here. Beijing views trade as a zero-sum game in which only China can ultimately triumph. Hence, Xi Jinping’s feudal mercantilism trade policy and his voracious thievery of intellectual property. We must resolutely oppose China’s malevolent activities. But as with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, we should build closer trade links with nations that stand with American interests. Canada has proven itself a critical U.S. ally in resisting pressure from China over the detention of a Huawei executive on a U.S. warrant. Friday’s agreement will help consolidate Canada’s belief that being America’s friend is better than being a Chinese puppet.

As I say, this is a win for America and our friends.

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