Protectionism And Coercion

Economist Steven Landsburg has an excellent article in today’s New York Times on the relationship between protectionism and coercion:

Bullying and protectionism have a lot in common. They both use force (either directly or through the power of the law) to enrich someone else at your involuntary expense. If you’re forced to pay $20 an hour to an American for goods you could have bought from a Mexican for $5 an hour, you’re being extorted. When a free trade agreement allows you to buy from the Mexican after all, rejoice in your liberation — even if Mr. McCain, Mr. Romney and the rest of the presidential candidates don’t want you to.

Landsburg is right. Why should I be forced to pay more for a car because it was made in Japan ?