Does Free Trade Retard or Improve Development in Developing Countries

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The 19th century international system was a very significant era of the doctrine and practice of free trade. This key date in the 19th century was 1846, the year England repealed the corn law. The corn laws had protected British aristocrats and farmers from imported corn. Corn at this time was used to make bread. This dispute pitted industrialists and many workers against landowners and farmers. The industrialist wanted cheap corn so that the cost of bread would be lowered and they could reduce or reduce workers wages. This would give their products a competitive advantage in international markets over products from nations where the cost of food and wages were expensive. The workers in Britain also supported this law because they wanted to buy cheap bread. David Ricardo, a stock trader and member of parliament, articulated the liberal theory of comparative advantage which made intellectual case for free trade. Today this theory of comparative advantage has remained the bedrock of arguments for economic integration and free trade. The broad purpose of this paper is to try and answer these questions;

• Does Free Trade Improve or Retard Development in Developing Countries

• Is Free Trade really Free.

Free trade is the trade among two or more countries without any limitations imposed by the governments or other regulators; thus the free movement of goods and services across national frontiers (O’Brien and Williams, 2007 p.139). (Vander .W, 2005 p.24). It points to the liberalisation of the markets of nations through the elimination of tariffs, quotas and other form of restrictions to allow the free flow of products beyond national borders.

Benefits of Free Trade

Trade Openness. Free Trade has remained a fundam...

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