Imports from China are in the news again with the restrictions on tire imports. Rather than write about the specifics of trade and tires, I want to consider trade and national security.

Liberty, or independence, means the ability to practice self-government. Dependency restricts self-government because external pressures may force decisions to be made that otherwise would not have been chosen. Dependency also includes reliance upon others for the necessities of life.

Nations which wish to govern themselves, in their own best interests, cannot afford to become completely dependent upon other nations for the basic necessities of life.

For example, a nation must try to be self-sufficient in food production, otherwise it can be put under lethel pressure by other nations.

But what of other goods?

Energy certainly. Steel. And probably also others such as plastics, electronics, and machine tools.

And if war comes, as it has again and again in history?

In the industrial age, production capacity usually has won wars. In the Civil War Northern industrial power combined with political will to insure victory. In WW1 the U.S. supplied the Allies with the means to wage war prior to our official entry. During WW2 a key decision was made to outproduce our enemies, and to fight accordingly, for example on a broad front in Europe. The Cold War was brought to an end, in part, when the U.S. began an arms buildup supported by our large economy that the U.S.S.R. did not have the economic base to match.

In a modern war perhaps having a GM to convert production to trucks and tanks is not as critical as in WW2. But what of electronics, the nerves and senses and even brains of today's weapons? Can we afford, at some future date, to have our electronics production all outsourced to Malasia and China?

Trade is a national security issue.