Tariffs and other forms of protectionism diminish opportunities, while free trade provides them to all.
In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama said over a thousand Americans were in jobs because he stopped what he called a “surge in Chinese tires”.
That may have been accurate. But the Peterson Institute for International Economics says Obama may have done more harm than good. It calculates that Obama’s move saved a maximum of 1200 jobs – but in tariffs it cost American consumers 1.1 billion dollars – that’s 900,000 dollars per job saved. Only a small fraction of this bloated figure reached the pockets of tire worker.
Not only that, but when losses in retail were absorbed into the equation, it seems likely that tire protectionism cost the U.S. economy around 2,531 jobs.