I thought we would eventually agree that a strong manufacturing base is essential to America’s best interests. You are one of the few I have come across who relies upon sound reasoning and facts when engaged in a discussion.
Now, with respect to our Founders’ use of taxing at our water’s edge to encourage ship building on American soil, I believe we are about to agree again for the simple reason it was not only in America’s best interests to do so, but vital to our national defense! I know our “free trade” crowd has been quite successful in portraying any use of Congress’ powers at our water’s edge to advance the best interests of the United States as “protectionism” used in the pejorative sense. But there are many instances which can be cited that the use of such powers can and does advance the general welfare of the United States and a free market system.
With respect to encouraging a ship building industry on American soil, keep in mind how an American owned merchant marine frees America from dependency upon foreign vessels to conduct foreign trade, not to mention how it was used for defending America.
When at war or a threat of piracy was present our Merchant marine vessels were outfitted with arms to protect America’s interests and commerce.
I think you will find the following article interesting and informative with regard to America’s merchant marine. See: Looking at the merchant marine role in 1812
The bottom line is, there are various circumstances under which Congress ought to use its power over commerce and taxation to advance the general welfare of the United States. But that does not mean the American People should submit to Congress using such powers to control, manipulate, and interfere with a free market system. Each case must be carefully decided upon the particulars involved and such powers must be used sparingly so as to not impinge upon the inalienable right of people being free to engage in trade.
And so, we get back to the real issue of trading with China, and also the move afoot to allow our President to exercise “Fast track trade promotion authority” which would essentially remove the people’s representatives from fashioning regulations of commerce with foreign nations which promote America’s best interests.