Buying local is an appealing slogan, but often makes for misguided and costly policy
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A hated tax but a fair one
RANDY KULL, a businessman based in Illinois, sells traffic signs. His products have international appeal, with signs for anglophones (STOP), Spanish-speakers (ALTO) and horses (WHOA). But for some customers, he must stay local. When America’s Department of Transportation is involved, he must use American-made sign-mounting brackets, and fill in a form confirming their source. Mr Kull’s supplier in Arkansas is happy, but he himself is dubious. “We live in a global economy,” he scoffs. The weight of the evidence backs his instinctive scepticism.
To many, buying ...