In a short post on EconLog, Pierre Lemieux points us to the flawed thinking of many scarcityists. In the article, he quotes Trump:
“Their consumer habits,” [Trump] explained about Europeans, “are to buy their cars, not to buy our cars.”
What the scarcityists don’t understand, even with their fancy models, is that trade is ultimately and everywhere a microeconomic phenomenon. It is people’s preferences that shape the pattern of trade, and merely imposing some tariff here to removing some tariff there may not be enough to create “balanced” trade. In a world of free trade, people will be free to make their own choices. In this case, the people have spoken: Europeans prefer European cars to American. And to a tyrant like Trump, that is unacceptable.