Free Trade? Thomas Jefferson has some thoughts…

Received this in today’s mail.

United State Senate January 22, 1817 printing of Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson’s December 16, 1793 report on the restrictions of commerce of the United States in foreign countries (a little delay in the printing!)


With so much recent discussion of free trade (Jefferson wanted open markets), the document is fascinating for some of the basic trade principles laid out by the first Secretary of State for the new US government.

Here is a sample (you can see the rest in the document pictures):

Where a nation imposes high duties on our productions, or prohibits them altogether, it may be proper to do the same by theirs, first burdening or excluding those productions, which they bring here in competition, with our own of the same kind; selecting next much manufactures as we take from them in greatest quantity, and which, at the same time we could the soonest furnish ourselves, or obtain from other countries; imposing upon them duties lighter at first, but heavier and heavier afterwards, as other channels of supply open.”

Solid. Even today.