Part II. Allowing free trade between countries can be beneficial, but it also imposes costs. Use the ITT Tech Virtual Library to research costs and benefits of allowing free trade. Discuss aspects of international trade that some may consider unfair. For example: i. Distribution of costs and benefits of free trade. In other words, does everyone share in the gains and the costs equally? ii. iii. Competing with different labor restrictions (or lack of), such as slave or child labor. Differences in environmental standards. Answers vary.
The pro free-trade camp in this country has tried to sell free trade generally, and the WTO in particular, on the grounds that free trade in other countries is a good idea. When other countries drop their trade barriers, American companies export more, and consequently create more export-related jobs. All true enough, but what free-traders fail to talk about, and their silence is deafening, is that free trade in the United States is a good idea.
Since ancient times, societies have used forms of trade in order to benefit themselves and their communities. From bartering in Ancient Egypt, to the international trading the world has today, trading has found its way into various sectors of modern civilization. The idea of free trade dates back to sixteenth century Spain and it was believed by certain economists to be the reason why certain civilizations flourished more than others. Free trade was an idea The U.S., Canada and Mexico struck gold with when they implemented the North American Free Trade Agreement, better known as, “NAFTA”. The use of NAFTA is in America’s best interest because, it benefits U.S. jobs, improves trade relations, promoted specialization of trade.
“Free trade is not passé, but is an idea that has irretrievably lost its innocence” (Krugman, 1987, p.132). In his article, Is Free Trade Passé, Paul Krugman writes that the classical trade theory has been replaced with a new trade theory. The classical trade theory is based on constant returns to scale and perfect competition, is driven by comparative advantage, and endorses free trade. This classical theory emphasized the idea that trade was brought about by differences in tastes, technology, or factor endowments between countries (Krugman, 1987). However, the new theory of international trade is driven by increasing returns to scale, also known as economies of scale, and leads to imperfect competition (Carbaugh, 2011).
Impressed by this worldwide supply chain and the international entanglement of markets we now want to discuss some of the bases of global trade, its implications and the advantages and disadvantages of such an evolution. The major reason behind international expansion and the import of goods is the search for minimum labour cost at a certain quality level or the highest quality for a certain price. Products are bought from the best and cheapest producers whereas transportation costs often play a secondary role. Domestic producers, paying wages many times higher than in developing countries, cannot always fulfil the requirements. Products, which only require low skilled workers, are already produced and imported from abroad since many years. Moreover, as the workers in low-wage areas gets more educated, foreign companies challenge more and more the local white-collar workforce. Isn't this evolution a major threat to our local labour market?
The benefits that arise from international trade can be derived from nations that have acquired trade power and established their revenue. According to Stanley, “nations with strong international trade have become prosperous and have power to control the world economy. The global trade can become one of the major contributors to the reduction of poverty.” Over the years, this type of trade has thrived as a result of the numerous benefits that come from importing and exporting good and service on a global scale, more specifically because of the increasing efficiency as well as the effects of supply and
The article expounds on two myths of free trade. The first myth is a theoretical argument which infers proponents encourage free trade to improve efficiencies and maximize prosperity. However, the author writes this myth covers the genuine intent which is to increase corporate
When evaluating the benefits of free trade, the first economic concept we must look at is comparative advantage: the comparative benefit one nation has over another in the production of a
This article helps to see the theoretical development of comparative advantage through the findings of David ricardo. It states how the basis of this model can be applied to multiple goods and actually be used to benefit countries and have gains from trade.
Free trade has been a part of the liberal prescription for international relations for a long time where it is often defined as the economic policy that allows imports from and exports to foreign jurisdictions. Unlike trading within nation, free trade allows buyers and sellers from separate economies to trade goods without the domestic government applying tariffs, quotas, subsidies or prohibitions on their goods and services. Therefore, free trade is often seen as desirable because it allows customers to get what they need with the lowest price along with the good quality, thus it promotes economic efficiency for both the nation and its citizen. Free trade is necessary and desirable due to the division of labor and the primary of the
In the 21st century it is correct to claim that our interconnected world is becoming smaller. With globalization, the nature of economy and politics is vividly transforming. United States is the best example as the trail blazer of the new policies, changes and with that, U.S. is a role model for world’s powers. Looking from the economist’s perspective of how to explain such advantage, open door trade is one of the factors that explain its success. Great number of economists stands unified in support of free trade. This paper will discuss some major points that revolve around the central idea which explains that in order to achieve economic success in today’s world requires free trade, which entails liberalization to attract international
Free trade, the ever present driving force behind our national and world economy, is a trade policy embroiled in controversy. It is considered by most economists to be an almost perfect trade policy, barring a few negative effects. Free trade has been shown to increase production, output and income levels in an economy. However, there are many people that view free trade as destroyer of economies and a catalyst of poverty. Critics of free trade have pointed out that in the short-run, free trade causes a loss of jobs which in turn causes a rise in poverty levels. It is interesting to note that the argument for free trade and the argument against free trade are inverses of each other. Proponents of free trade see it as a tool to stimulate an economy while detractors see it as a policy which exacerbates poverty, causes dependency and reduces economic stability.
Since David Smith introduced the theory of the free market force known as the invisible hand in The Wealth of Nations, the argument for free trade was levied against the argument for protectionism. Smith believed that by providing people the freedom to produce and trade as they please, with limited government interference, enlightened self-interest would provide prosperity for all (Smith, 1937.) In Scotland, quality grapes had to be grown in hothouses, while grapes in France did not, which provided France a comparative advantage. Heating Scottish grapes made them more expensive than French grapes. But Scotland did have an abundance of wool which could be traded for grapes. Tariffs on French grapes would cost the Scottish consumer more as well as introduce inefficiency. Countries can enjoy higher levels of consumption if they produce the goods that they are relatively efficient at producing and import to goods that they are relatively inefficient at producing (Inside, 1994.) Specialization in activities that provide a comparative advantage is beneficial when a country produces what it produces best, keeping some for consumption and trading the rest. Even though protectionism advocates believe it is necessary to protect national security, save jobs, and help strategic infant industries, the
The theory of comparative advantage explains the benefit of free trade. According to this theory by David Ricardo in the early 19th century, “Both countries will be better off if each specializes in the industry where it has a comparative advantage, and if the two trade with one another.” (Citation) International trade opens up markets to foreign supplier, and domestic companies need to improve their efficiency, boost productivity, and lower cost to increase competitiveness instead of enjoying monopolies or oligopolies that enabled them to keep prices well above marginal costs. On the other hand, international trade also offers domestic companies bigger demands and broader markets; therefore more jobs relevant to export have been created. Furthermore, jobs in the US supported by goods exports pay 13-18 percent more than the US national average (ustr.gov).
Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations, shows support for free trade and emphasises it as a trade policy which ought to be adopted. Krugman and Obstfeld back Smith's support by stating that the efficiency of trade is increased by free trade and accumulates the national income of countries. Free trade is a theory which suggests that each nation benefits in specialising in an economic activity from which it gains absolute advantage, enjoying absolute superiority over other nations in a specif economical activity (Peng). With free trade follows opportunity, replacing regulation and growth of economic activity. (Rugmann and Collinson).