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  • Anforme What are the Arguments For and Against Free Trade and Protectionism?

Anforme What are the Arguments For and Against Free Trade and Protectionism?

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Gary Phillpott, Head of Economics and Business Studies, Shrewsbury International School, Thailand, reviews the benefits of international exchange and whether protectionism can ever be justified.

Summary of Key Points:

  • There are overwhelming economic arguments in favour of free international trade, most notably those based upon specialisation and the Laws of Absolute and Comparative Advantage.
  • A country that specialises in the production of products in which it has a comparative advantage can consume beyond its production possibility curve, as illustrated by the concept of the consumption possibility curve.
  • Arguments in support of protectionist policies such as the infant industry argument, the industrialisation and diversification argument, the job protection argument and the anti-dumping argument, although superficially plausible, are generally flawed in economic terms.
  • Despite the energies and achievements of the WTO and the increase in the number and size of Free Trade Areas, trade disputes involving protectionist policies continue to abound.
  • There is an ever growing body of evidence to show that significant increases in global welfare would result from further reductions in barriers to free trade.

This article is from ET Volume 17 Issue 4.

Gary Phillpott, Head of Economics and Business Studies, Shrewsbury International School, Thailand, reviews the benefits of international exchange and whether protectionism can ever be justified.

Summary of Key Points:

  • There are overwhelming economic arguments in favour of free international trade, most notably those based upon specialisation and the Laws of Absolute and Comparative Advantage.
  • A country that specialises in the production of products in which it has a comparative advantage can consume beyond its production possibility curve, as illustrated by the concept of the consumption possibility curve.
  • Arguments in support of protectionist policies such as the infant industry argument, the industrialisation and diversification argument, the job protection argument and the anti-dumping argument, although superficially plausible, are generally flawed in economic terms.
  • Despite the energies and achievements of the WTO and the increase in the number and size of Free Trade Areas, trade disputes involving protectionist policies continue to abound.
  • There is an ever growing body of evidence to show that significant increases in global welfare would result from further reductions in barriers to free trade.

This article is from ET Volume 17 Issue 4.

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