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Trump’s ‘Buy American’ stance flouts 200 years of economic logic Add to ...

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This week marks the bicentennial of the publication of one of the most important books in economic history. Judging how he marked the anniversary, I’m guessing Donald Trump hasn’t spent the week boning up on it.

On April 19, 1817, David Ricardo – who, like the U.S. President, was a tremendously wealthy businessman who launched a second career in politics – published On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. The book introduced the world to the concept of “comparative advantage” – the principle that has endured at the core of the free-trade argument ever since. It’s one of the seminal moments in the history of economic thought.

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