I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Free trade is always better. Always.
Robert Samuelson explains why:
Consider what happens if Bush retains the [steel] tariffs and defies the WTO.
For starters, he incurs the wrath of many small industrial users of steel — makers of auto parts, various steel components and machine tools. They’ve complained that tariffs have raised their costs and undermined their competitiveness against foreign rivals. Indeed, tariffs have probably cost more jobs among steel users than they’ve saved among producers. Gary Hufbauer and Ben Goodrich of the Institute for International Economics, a think tank, estimate that tariffs preserved 3,500 steel jobs; by contrast, they think that the tariffs might have cost steel users between 12,000 and 43,000 jobs.