Protectionist Watch: Senator Schumer vs. the Workers of Thailand

| About: adidas AG (ADDYY)

Senator Schumer is denouncing Adidas (OTCQX:ADDYY) for deciding to make NBA game jerseys in Thailand instead of in New York:

It is flat wrong for Adidas to move the production of jerseys worn by NBA players outside the United States...Adidas must do the right thing and reverse this decision, and continue to produce all these jerseys domestically... To do anything else is an insult to the American worker and sports fans everywhere in America.

What a classic example of arrogance by a politician. What's next, a requirement that all the suits worn by executives at TARP-recipient banks be made in America? That all the scrubs worn by surgeons accepting Medicare reimbursements be made in America?

If all our trading partners imposed similar requirements, wouldn't that have an adverse affect on American exports? And what about all those foreigners playing in the NBA? Are they insults to American basketball players, robbing jobs from American workers?

Mr. Schumer has never been a free trader, as this New York Sun editorial points out. For the senator of an international city like New York that has benefited enormously from free trade back to its early days as a port to display this kind of nativist protectionism is pretty amazing, and telling. If Mr. Schumer's static view of the economy held sway, we'd all still be working in garment factories on the Lower East Side. The 100 jobs in upstate New York are visible. The benefits we all get from an economy where firms and individuals are free to make decisions on where to obtain goods without arbitrary political interference are harder to quantify but they are nonetheless real.

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