Analysis of Arguments For and Against U.S. Trade Protection Essay

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In this paper I will summarize the arguments for and against trade protection for United States industries. Among the measures that can be used to restrict foreign trade are tariffs and trade quotas. Industries can also get nontariff barriers, miscellaneous legislation which give domestic products an advantage. In general, experts agree that restricted foreign trade benefits workers and domestic businesses, while under free trade consumers have a greater quantity and quality of choices available to them. [1] I will also look at arguments for and against NAFTA, an important trade agreement between the countries of North America. Tariffs are perhaps the most common way to restrict, or at least slightly discourage, foreign imports. …show more content…

However, the United States does have some industries which do not perform at the capacity of those in other countries. These inefficient industries could be helped to stand on their own legs if their foreign competition was to be restricted by tariffs. If the East Asian auto industry is flooding the market with cars that sell better than their American-made counterparts, the government can intervene in the name of domestic businesses and jobs by placing tariffs on them. On the flip side, the consumer has to pay more for imported Japanese and Korean cars. [3] Another tool that can be implemented to control foreign trade is the quota. This simply means setting a hard limit on the amount of a certain good allowed into the country. However, a quota is usually seen as inferior to a tariff because of the potential government revenue that can be obtained through taxation. Quotas also force the government to make decisions about what products consumers will be able to obtain. This can lead to corruption – which of the goods in question will get import licenses, and why? Quotas also encourage smuggling and, if used recklessly in a specialized economy, can result in a shortage of a certain good. [4] Despite this, import quotas are still a valuable economic policy that is used today for much the same reason as tariffs. Tariffs simply can't

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