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The Tariff Idea

  • The Tariff Idea by W. M. Curtiss
February 15, 1953W. M. Curtiss

Tags Taxes and SpendingInterventionism

Tariffs are only one of the many restrictions to trade throughout the world. For many years, they were perhaps the most important restriction; but more recently, their importance has been overshadowed by such modern- innovations as exchange controls, quotas on imports and exports, bilateral and multilateral agreements, most-favored-nation agreements, bulk buying and selling by nations, fair trade laws, subsidies, national and international give-away programs, and so on.

Tariffs are discussed here, not because of their current importance relative to other restrictions, but because they have persisted so long in the face of well-reasoned opposition. It is probable that if the effects of tariffs were clearly understood, a better understanding of the various other trade restrictions might evolve because the same . basic fallacies seem to underlie them all. Tariffs are a form of price control. One who defends tariffs cannot logically oppose government control of prices and profits, material allocations, subsidies, and other violations of the free-market principle.

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References

The Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, 1953