If You Like Tariffs, You Should Have Cheered the Clogged Suez Canal

Disruptions to trade are bad for the world, whether you can see them or not.

by Eric Boehm

Now that the Ever Given has been freed from the sandy banks of the Suez Canal, we can safely return to ignoring the modern miracle of global trade that tends to be noticed only on the rare occasion when it doesn’t work as smoothly as we’re accustomed.

Before that happens, let’s take a moment to appreciate it.

An estimated $9 billion worth of trade flows through the Suez Canal every day, according to Lloyd’s List, a London-based shipping journal—an amount considerably larger than the entire annual economic output of dozens of countries. All of it is the result of individuals and businesses engaged in mutually beneficial transactions despite being separated by thousands of miles. Each and every item shipped through the canal is evidence that trade grows the world’s economic pie—simply because you can sell more goods when you have access to more customers, whose standards of living are raised by having access to more goods.

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