Free Trade vs Protectionism

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Submitted By carolyn2558
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Arguments for Free Trade among Nations as opposed to
Arguments for Protectionism

In economics, trade, both nationally and internationally is a subject that is highly debated. Trade affects every one in every nation, has a significant impact on a country’s standard of living and can be used to foster new ideas and products. There are currently two opposing policies of how to conduct trade, protectionism and free trade, also called laissez-faire. A county’s comparative advantage at producing certain products causes many debates over why one way of trade is better than another.
Tariffs, embargo’s and quota’s that are put on trade are forms of protectionism, which is the restriction of trade between states/countries. Protectionism is preferred in some groups for a variety of reasons, one of the reasons is that, it is thought that protectionism can protect ‘infant’ or new companies and industires.1The idea behind this is that it helps protect domestic companies that are just starting from foreign competitors that could introduce products at a lower cost. Tariffs are then set up, to make the foreign goods artificially expensive allowing the new or ‘infant’ firm to set up until they are able to compete on equal footing.1
Another argument in favor of protectionism is that one country might be able to use it as a threat against another country to force a reduction or removal of their protection against its exports.3If the threat worked then that country using it as such would gain twice, from its free trade and from the other country.3 Unemployment due to exporting jobs to foreign markets is a popular argument used in defense of protectionism.2 The rationale behind this is that, products that are produced more cheaply or efficiently in other states or countries would lead, according to the law of demand, consumers to purchase more foreign products instead of the more…...

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