So my anarcho-capatalist Libertarian friends continue to prance nekkid before the holy alter of Free Trade, see HERE
And yes, they are correct in that tariffs stifle growth, and economic growth (in the end) trumps all. Of course, corporate taxes also stifle growth, as do consumption taxes, construction taxes...
I still maintain that if you are going to tax, it's far better to do it on imports than on corporate profits. Tax corporations too highly and they just move offshore, tax imports to highly and people might pay more, but they start making stuff here.
Now maybe, just maybe, my friends are taking the long view. After all, if you pursue unrestrained "free" trade with China, eventually you have no jobs left, and thus no taxpayers. That's a rather long term method of starving the beast, and it's awfully rough going, but I suppose it would work out in the end.
Competition wise, it's not the wage difference either, it's China's refusal to float their currency, and the stifling regulations we have here. OSHA, EPA, Sarbanes-Oxley etc. are not designed to destroy American industry, that's just a "beneficial side effect". In fact, pretty much anything a government does is BAD for the economy, bad for growth, and bad for jobs.
Regardless, I did my part to support international trade this afternoon:
I needed some stakes to stake my trees, so I bought some steel T posts at Lowe's. They were lousy quality, but it was all they had, and of course they were made in China.
I also needed a new lamp for my bedroom (also made in China)
I also found some lightbulbs (China again) but I put them back and found some different bulbs made in the U.S.A. (sorry guys)
As an aside, how did that happen? I thought these days we just sat around in a circle and sold each other financial products.
Anyway, for those who actually WANT to buy stuff made here, Sylvania still makes light-bulbs in Pennsylvania., so shop accordingly.