“We must always take heed that we buy no more from strangers than we sell them, for so should we impoverish ourselves and enrich them.” — Discourse of the Common Weal of this Realm of England, 1549
Issue: Our large trade imbalance is decimating our great nation. One of the reasons, perhaps the primary reason, America experienced the “Roaring 20’s” is that America produced and exported. We must do that again if we are to proceed back on our proper course. A country which imports goods and exports trash (seriously, our #1 export is waste, container ships full of it) – such a nation is not going to thrive and excel, nor is it going to stimulate domestic job growth. We must fix our negative trade imbalance if we are to truly strive to fix our nation’s problems.
Solution: Import Certificates. The solution is covered in detail by Warren Buffett in Nov 10, 2003 “Fortune” magazine article (attached). The short story is that for a country to export into the United States, it must either import the same credit value from the United States, or purchase Import Credits on the open market exchange from someone who does. We, the World, embrace a system which provides a free market exchange and trade on Import Credits and provides a fair and balanced system for all of us. Although the cost of imports would rise as a result of this legislation, there would be a natural desire, a real incentive, for businesses to produce in the United States – to create jobs. This is what America needs today and going forward.
Our Congressman and Senators must enact such legislation today. “Import Certificates” is a world solution, not a tariff that seeks to engage in trade wars or subsidize certain industries. Instead, such a system seeks to engage in trade cooperation and looks for a trade balance in which all nations produce whatever they are best at producing. Providing the world with a fair and level playing field that continually, by its nature, seeks to find the proper balance. “Fair trade” must replace the notion of “free trade” if we are to get back on our proper course.