Penalizing imports

Discussions on how to discourage imports and foster exports to gain more from international trade and create jobs domestically are gaining momentum amid a growing lack of openness to trade. The justification for so-called border adjustment taxes and calls for so-called reshoring of production bases are based on a similar argument. So, should we discourage imports or not? If we decide that we should discourage imports, policy options would include compressing imports as much as possible while promoting exports, given the apparent contribution of net exports (gross exports after deducting imports) toward gross domestic product (GDP) and foreign exchange earnings. Think about some developing countries that suffer chronic current account deficits, and which are becoming increasingly vulnerable to external economic shocks with accelerating foreign reserve depletion. Are imports, then, a necessary evil?... —