What Is International Trade?

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What is international Trade? International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories, which could involve the activities of the government and individual. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product (GDP). This type of trade allows for a greater competition and more competitive pricing in the market. The competition results in more affordable products for the consumer. The exchange of goods also affects the economy of the world as dictated by supply and demand, making goods and services obtainable which may not otherwise be available to consumers globally. In the topic of trade economists agree, it is that trade among nations makes the world…show more content…
Macaulay was observing the practical problems governments face in deciding whether to embrace the concept: “Free trade, one of the greatest blessings which a government can confer on a people, is in almost every country unpopular.” Why countries trade? In one of the most important concepts in economics, Ricardo observed that trade was driven by comparative rather than absolute costs (of producing a good). One country may be more productive than others in all goods, in the sense that it can produce any good using fewer inputs (such as capital and labor) than other countries require to produce the same good. Ricardo’s insight was that such a country would still benefit from trading according to its comparative advantage—exporting products in which its absolute advantage was greatest, and importing products in which its absolute advantage was comparatively less. Though a country may be twice as productive as its trading partners in making clothing, if it is three times as productive in making steel or building airplanes, it will benefit from making and exporting these products and importing clothes. Its partner will gain by exporting clothes—in which it has a comparative but not absolute advantage—in exchange for these other products (see box). The notion of comparative advantage also extends beyond physical goods to trade in services—such as writing computer
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