Never put a poet in charge of the economy chairman Mao Zedong, or, it would increasingly seem, George W Bush.
Bush's decision to impose tariffs on steel, while no way as disastrous as Mao's own foray into self-sufficiency in steel the Great Leap Forward does raise questions and got me to thinking about tariffs in general.
Given the US's ideological commitment to free trade, the recent move cannot help but look hypocritical.
In this respect it is interesting to turn the clock back to the Victorian free trade era. At this time, Britain, with its unrivalled naval power, and its ideological commitment to free trade and pure capitalism, was exactly analogous to the...