John Steward of Jesus
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Limiting Trade

December 9, 1980
(an unsent "letter to the editor")

It seems to me that it is best for the people of any country if free trade is encouraged, with no restrictions on imports or exports.  Many people in good faith reach a different conclusion. To explore this matter would take more space than you would give to this letter.

Whatever is the best policy regarding imports, I don't understand how it helps us to import only a limited amount of certain products, such as automobiles or beef.  Recently, the Japanese were pressured not to increase auto sales to our citizens.  Our congressman is now working to limit the amount of imported beef which we can purchase.  Steel and textile companies want similar restrictions for their products.

If imported autos hurt us, then none of them should be permitted to enter the country.  If imported beef hurts us, then we should ban it entirely.  By what logic do we permit a foreign country to hurt us to a limited degree?  De we enjoy a limited amount of pain?