Worth Noting

“… As to commerce, two methods occur. 1. By friendly arrangements with the several nations with whom these restrictions exist: Or 2. By the separate act of our own legislatures for countervailing their effects.

There can be no doubt that of these two, friendly arrangement is the most eligible. Instead of embarrassing commerce under piles of regulating laws, duties and prohibitions, could it be relieved from all its shackles in all parts of the world, could every country be employed in producing that which nature has best fitted it to produce, and each be free to exchange with others mutual surplusses for mutual wants, the greatest mass possible would then be produced of those things which contribute to human life and human happiness; the numbers of mankind would be increased, and their condition bettered…

But should any nation, contrary to our wishes, suppose it may better find its advantage by continuing its system of prohibitions, duties and regulations, it behooves us to protect our citizens, their commerce and navigation by counter prohibitions, duties and regulations, also. Free commerce and navigation are not to be given in exchange for restrictions and vexations; nor are they likely to produce a relaxation of them…

 

— Thomas Jefferson, Report on the privilege and restrictions on the commerce of the United States in foreign countries. December 16, 1793

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