AdamWeeden writes “According to research done by the Boston Globe, HP has been secretly using a third-party company to sell printers to Iran. This is illegal under a ban instituted in 1995 by then US President Bill Clinton. The third-party company, Redington Gulf, operates out of Dubai and previously stated on their web site that the company began in 1997 with ‘a team of five people and the HP supplies as our first product, we started operations as the distributor for Iran,’ though now the site has been changed to remove the mention of Iran. Has HP unknowingly been supplying Iran with technology or have they been trying to secretly get by the US government’s export restrictions?”
I sure hope it’s the latter. In what way is it legitimate for the government to infringe on HP’s private property rights like this? Besides does anyone actually believe these types of restrictions actually do anything constructive? The government will still be able to smuggle in whatever they want and the rest of the residents will be forced into the black market to obtain the products and services they desire. Those who aren’t willing to go that far will be artificially kept back in the rat race leading to less productivity and bigger disparities between those within and without the country. Worse case they pick up lesser brands from China, India or Russia who have likely fewer if any trade restrictions.
Free and open trade makes for more peace and prosperity. Trade restrictions just aren’t bad foreign policy they are bad economics.
When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will. -Fredric Bastiat