Wrong. American firms competed against other American firms for the first 190 years of our history when we had high tariffs. "Tariffs would also give the Government the ability to choose winners and losers in the domestic marketplace, allowing them to effectively enforce unionization and the rest of their whacked-out agenda "
OH NO! NOT THE UNIONS!!! The government won't be choosing between American companies. They'll just be restoring the tariffs that our founding fathers put in place and that servered us well our first 190 years.
If you really want to teach those unions a lesson off-shore all American jobs!!! That'll teach them. /s
"Finally - tariffs breach Freedom of Association. Why would we force Americans to buy something they don't want? If a foreign car is better, faster or cheaper than a GM Volt, by what right would we interfere?"
Wrong! Tariffs don't prevent you from associating with anyone. Tariffs don't even prevent you from buying anythign foreign. You just have to pay a little more for it.
Our founding fathers saw tariffs as maximizing American freedom because it allowed them to avoid direct taxation on citizens. They saw it as taxing foreign firms who wanted to do business in America. They saw it as a tax that was only paid by people who wanted foreign goods.
At the very least foreign goods should be burdened with a tax rate similar to what domestic manufacturers are burdened with. Plus Foreign goods should also be burdened with all the costs of American unemployment. Only then is the playing field level.
But its legislature did what they could to enrich themselves from lobbyists and to grow the Federal Government - by introducing tariffs.
Industrialists in the Northern states decided that trying to compete with foreigners was too hard, and that the easiest way forward was to get the Government to force the people of the United States to buy higher-priced tariff-protected domestic goods.
Southern businesses were relatively impoverished because they were forced to pay extra for European goods. The tensions from this price-slavery arguably contributed to the Civil War.
After the Civil War ended tariffs were raised sharply - because the Northern industrialists had got their way through warfare.
The American people were made poorer by the new tariffs - to pay for the bloody war brought on by the economic distortions caused by the original tariffs.
Both before and after the war the Northern industrialists were able to use their protected positions to get rich off their captive populations. Hmm, I'm not sure why you regard this as a win?
"American firms competed against other American firms" - yes, in a restricted class. This is similar to what happens in peewee hockey, womens' football and the Special Olympics. It may be necessary for sports, but its not something to be proud of in business.
Tariffs don't even prevent you from buying anythign foreign. You just have to pay a little more for it.
So tariffs are ok, because businesses don't compete on price? Got it.