保护主义又抬头

又到了秋后算账的时候。在任何一届美国总统竞选期间,保护主义都会一如既往地乘虚而入。但这次保护主义在美国卷土重来早在2001年乔治·W·布什总统征收钢铁关税时就开始了。

布什政府对进口钢铁征收关税的真正意图实在让人琢磨不透。该关税在经济上不划算:它使美国更穷了。该关税也绝非重商主义的表现:它给钢铁消费行业造成的经济和失业损失要比给钢铁生产行业带来的利益大得多。而前者的工会力量和在华盛顿的声势至少不输于后者。

该关税在外交上也并不高明:美国政府似乎借此迫不及待地表明它会为了想象中微不足道的国内政治利益而牺牲所有的承诺。有哪个国家愿意和这样的政府达成任何协议呢?

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