Libertarians Shouldn't Dream of Hillary's Common Market

  Author: Tho Bishop
  October 12, 2016

Largely overlooked by the media in light of Trump’s leaked Access Hollywood video and Sunday’s presidential debate has been the volumes of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta released by Wikileaks. One revelation that has gained some traction are some of the remarks Secretary Clinton made while speaking to Wall Street bankers, in which she takes a very different position on trade agreements than what she has taken during her campaign. One email notes a speech where she says:

My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, sometime in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.

Interestingly, this remark has been praised among some libertarian pundits. For example, Reason’s Nick Gillespie, while attacking Clinton’s duplicity, describes the comments as “good news” from a libertarian perspective. David Boaz, vice president of the Cato Institute, praised the remarks tweeting “Hillary's looking better all the time.” He, of course, followed up with a tweet saying she’s “not exactly trustworthy,” but his point being that Clinton’s comment was something libertarians should celebrate.

Gillespie and Boaz’s praise indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of what Clinton is actually advocating. After all, a “common market” is not the same as a free market — and open trade is not necessarily the same as “free trade.” The concept Hillary Clinton is advocating is not a libertarian international order — but instead a European Union-like entity for the Americas.

Unfortunately we have seen a long history of libertarians praising the EU, largely based on the grounds of “open trade.” While the idea of “open trade” is praiseworthy in theory, the phrase isn’t synonymous with “free trade” in reality — just as the label of “fair trade” isn’t the same as “free trade,” even though free trade is itself fair. Instead, open trade is actually managed trade, with government’s coming together agreeing on shared rules in regards to subsidizes, regulation, taxes, and other forms of government intervention.

Read the rest of this great article at its original source at Mises.org website at this link

Serbo-Croatian version of this article can be read here

 

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