Ron Paul on Border Control, Free Trade, and Mexican Trucking Companies

Ron Paul at Free Liberal:

The fact that this is being done in the name of free trade is disturbing. Free trade is not complicated, yet NAFTA and CAFTA are comprised of thousands of pages of complicated legal jargon. All free trade really needs is two words: Low tariffs. Free trade does not require coordination with another government to benefit citizens here. Just like domestic businesses don’t pay taxes, foreign businesses do not pay tariffs – consumers do, in the form of higher prices. If foreign governments want to hurt their own citizens with protectionist tariffs, let them. But let us set a good example here, and show the world an honest example of true free trade. And let us stop hurting American workers with mountains of red tape in the name of safety. Safety standards should be set privately, by the industry and by the insurance companies who have the correct motivating factors to do so.

Free trade is not the problem, and pseudo free trade is what is being offered in the wrongly named North American Free Trade Agreement and all its offshoots. The problem is a government-managed economy and the burdensome regulation that results. For our economy to remain competitive in the world, we must remember what it is to be truly free. We must lift the regulatory shackles threatening to sink our industries into oblivion. Free trade begins with freedom domestically, and we can’t afford to lose that.

He’s way too interested in “border control” and I don’t agree that we should let safety standards be in the hands of private industries.  But, I do agree that the problem with NAFTA and CAFTA is NOT that they are free trade agreements, but rather that they are pseudo-free trade agreements.

Free Trade is a good thing.  Fake-Trade is bullshit and only serves to hurt us and the poorest people in the developing world.

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2 responses to “Ron Paul on Border Control, Free Trade, and Mexican Trucking Companies

  1. Surely you can agree with some safety standards being put back into the hands of private industry. Any product which competes with other products directly on safety will get safer, right? We regulate the safety of some products that compete on safety. This reduces the incentive to improve safety, since consumers will (justifiably) assume all reputable manufacturers are producing safe products. Without that assumption, manufacturers would have to strive to prove how their product is safer than the competition.

    An example of this kind of negative safety regulation is on bike helmets. There are other examples too. To elaborate on bike helmets, bike helmets compete on three things. They are appearance, cost, and safety. With the bike helmet safety regulations in place, only specialized producers compete on safety. The mass market focuses on appearance and cost instead. The result is that we get cheaper, sleeker helmets that aren’t as safe as market forces alone would encourage.

    We shouldn’t treat any kind of regulation as a ‘sacred cow’. All of it needs critical inspection to ensure that it isn’t causing damage.

  2. Actually I agree with you fully. any time that the private sector can do something better than the government, or even simply “as good” as the gov. then I think we should let them do it.

    When made the comment about safety regulations, I was referring largely to worker safety. Our own industrial revolution history is proof positive that left in the hands of companies, workers will get screwed (and maimed and killed) because of cut corners. This happens in 3rd world countries all the time.

    It’s in these area’s that the government plays a very crucial role, as a 3rd party arbiter.

    But, you are right, if we’re talking about product safety. There are plenty of times when a product would likely be safer if we left competition forces in place.

    I’m largely for privatization wherever possible … but I’m not such an idealist that I believe that the private sector can do everything.

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