Free Trade Vs Protectionism Essay

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There are many arguments both for and against both free trade and protectionism. There are some that say that free trade should rule the day and that the market can regulate itself. There are others that suggest that the market is an immoral mess and/or that countries should be allowed to protect their national and economic interests if and when it becomes necessary. This report will talk about the pros and cons of each thought process and offer an overall opinion at the end. While free trade is generally the better course of action to follow, there are times and situations where at least some elements of protectionism are not beyond the pale.

Generally speaking, free trade is when trade is allowed to happen in an unfettered way. Rather than goods being blocked from crossing borders in the form of exports or imports, free trade is all about letting people sell what they wish across borders without penalty or bans on items that are generally legal and without restriction when they are not crossing international lines. On the other end of the spectrum would be protectionism. While many economists and pro-trade people view this as a "bad word," there are times and situations where protectionism is not necessary a bad thing.
Indeed, there are some times where it is perhaps necessary or advisable. Indeed, there are many that say that free trade, for all of its benefits, tends to have hidden or obscured harm that is brought to bear on people who are just trying to get by.

The main reason protectionism is employed is to protect national jobs and industries. For example, an oil-producing nation will often impose heavy restrictions on imports of oil so as to protect local suppliers. The side effect this commonly has, and indeed a main complaint that people have about protectionism, is that this limits supply and this usually keeps prices up and higher than they technically have to be if supplies were not restricted. However, the complaints about free trade often involve the invoking of the term "race to the bottom" in that many poorer and developing countries will gladly take on low-paying jobs. However, many suggest that this only hurts these countries in the long run. Beyond that, economies that are heavily dependent on exports often flounder and suffer greatly when world economic conditions go south.….....

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Bartlett, B. (2016). Free Trade Vs. Protectionism: Why History Matters. The Fiscal Times. Retrieved 21 August 2016, from

Chmielewski, T. (2016). Free Trade Vs. Protectionism. Retrieved 21 August 2016, from

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