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Reader: Consumers lose when tariffs are in place 

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We have heard time and time again from conservatives that they are fed up with the "socialists" in this country having their way with the likes of the Affordable Care Act and their desire for a higher, livable wage. As socialism desires production, distribution and exchange to be handled by the state, I find it odd that conservatives are in favor of the most recent tariffs.

The desire for tariffs makes sense: It's a way to restrict foreign competition by making it costlier to purchase foreign goods and make domestically made ones more attractive. Tariffs can protect industries, create jobs, and can even be used as economic leverage. As China floods the market with steel and aluminum, it makes sense to do something about this.

Now we have the federal government picking and choosing the winners and losers. Instead of implementing economic policies that would advocate a free market, we actively choose to steer it in favor of the few over the many. Prices will go up, that goes without saying. Any understanding of international trade would tell us that as tariffs are put in place, the price on foreign goods will rise, the desired supply of domestic goods will increase, and these both will result in higher prices on goods.

Don't just expect steel and aluminum prices to rise; we should also be expecting everything that is manufactured with steel and aluminum to rise in price as well. Consumers are the losers when tariffs are in place.

Trade is the cooperation that allows us to all work toward our own betterment. When we allow countries to rely on their comparative advantage, resources are properly allocated and the prices for goods remain cheap. When the government steps in to try and mingle with the free market, mingle with free trade, they are making the decisions on distribution and exchange. For such a large group of Americans that are so fervently against the ideal of socialism, they sure do love it when it suits their own political goals.

— Ryan Arthur, Colorado Springs


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