Protectionist Sentiment

The protectionist sentiment that seems to be gathering momentum in certain segments of industry, which was strongly expressed in Jay Mazur’s article (Editorial Pages, Aug. 29), is ill-conceived for a couple of reasons.

The first and most immediate is obvious: American shoppers quite intelligently demand the highest quality goods at the lowest possible price.

While I sympathize with anyone who happens to be employed in an industry that has lost its competitiveness in the world economy, I cannot grasp why the needs of these workers automatically constitute a claim on my right to buy foreign goods at a value determined by the market.

The second reason is more far reaching than our household budgets. Current world economic stability is fragile at best. With huge unresolved problems threatening to surface at any time, a trade war could have consequences that would dwarf the plight of any number of garment, steel or auto workers. As the saying goes: “If you’re walking on egg shells, Don’t hop.”