National Protectionism

I’ve always been a fan of protectionism. In fact, my favorite part about Bitcoin is the 21 million supply limit — Bring on the halvening, I got mine.

Previously, I advocated occupational licensing for engineering jobs. Not out of national security concerns or anything; I just wanted to protect the scarcity of my mediocre job skills.

Looks like the Commerce Department was listening! Early this month, a new rule went into effect requiring a license to export geospatial imagery technology. Information isn’t a physical thing you can transfer overseas, so under the new rules even conversations about technology between Americans and foreign nationals are deemed exports.

The Department of Commerce is now looking to expand export restrictions to all “emerging” technologies. Tech companies will likely need to apply for licenses before employing foreign workers from China, Russia, or Iran. (Although I can already say from personal experience that “foreign workers” includes US citizens of ethnic descent.)

Maybe these export restrictions will end up being a boon for the disenfranchised American worker (at least the ones who aren’t Chinese, Russian, or Iranian). Or maybe the new vacancies will be snapped up by immigrants from a more US-friendly regime.

One thought on “National Protectionism

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