Should our government sit back and do nothing as the

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Unformatted text preview: American cars rises in Germany and Germans buy more German cars and fewer American cars. Since U.S. car companies sell fewer cars, they will have to lay off some of their workers. The people who are laid off are Americans, not Germans. In other words, some Americans will lose their jobs because the German government decided to impose tariffs on American cars. Is this fair? Should the U.S. government practice free trade when another country doesn’t? Should our government sit back and do nothing as the German government puts Americans out of work? I for one don’t think so. A policy of “give and take” would be more acceptable to me. If Germany practices free trade with I 16 (428-459) EMC Chap 16 11/18/05 9:35 AM Page 459 us, then we should practice free trade with Germany. But if Germany doesn’t practice free trade with us, then we shouldn’t practice free trade with them. We have to be realistic, and we have to protect ourselves. Sylvia Minors, Addison High School Debate Team disagree. I think that practicing free trade is a little like practicing honesty—you should do it even if others don’t. If 10 people tell lies, it doesn’t follow that the best thing you can do is tell a lie, too. If most countries impose tariffs and quotas, it doesn’t follow that the United States should do likewise. The United States should practice free trade even if every other country in the world imposes tariffs and quotas on all products being imported. That’s because the United States prospers through free trade, even when other countries do not practice it. Suppose there are five countries in the world. Four of the countries impose tariffs and quotas; one country, the United States, does not. Certainly foreign tariffs and quotas hurt U.S. producers and workers, but the U.S. government can’t make things better for our producers and workers by making our consumers worse off. And that is exactly what the U.S. government would be doing if it retaliated by imposing tariffs and quotas on foreign goods. Then, not only would U.S. producers and workers be hurt by foreig...
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