Free Trade

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What is free trade? Many American’s have a broad and sometimes-false idea of what free trade actually is. Free trade “refers to the economic philosophy and practice of reducing barriers such as tariffs, taxes, subsidies and quotas so that raw materials, goods and services can move unhampered across national borders.” (68) Various options have arisen about whether or not free trade benefits developing counties or not. I believe that free trade is not favorable or helpful towards developing counties. Free trade benefits few but not the masses, is in favor of rich companies with large corporations, means a loss of power and political control on a national, regional and local levels of government, as well as allows for child labor and there for loses out economically. Many people here in the United States are not well informed about Free Trade or its drawbacks. By giving people the information and steering them toward a better form of trade such as Fair Trade we could possible help those other counties that are dealing with the effects of free trade.

When dealing with free trade the commercial benefits are hard to miss, more choices on cars and products, lower coasts on goods so consumers can by more products and live the good life. (p.68) However, digging deep in to the effects of free trade shows us that that it benefits few but not the masses. For example, the US will benefit from cheap labor and low tariff cost, paying less for more but the workers in the countries where the product is being manufactured will not benefit and neither will the country. (p. 71) By having cheap labor those people cannot afford to buy luxury items or even basic items, which in turn will affect that counties economy. By having youth workers not in sc...

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...or those who did have jobs. (p. 95) This is an example of how free trade can be harmful to developing countries. When consumers lose jobs they can no long afford to pay for not just luxury items but basic living expenses that other industry are selling which sends a county into economic tailspin.

I propose that rich nations should be more morally accountable for manufacturing companies they have around the world. Places like Wal-Mart and the gap here in the US should be paying workers fair wages, have decent working hours, no children worker under 16, and safe working conditions. U.S companies should follow the laws we have in our own country and abide by them in others. I believe that the government should reward socially responsible companies at first and then create laws here stating that when having companies abroad you must follow the laws we have here.

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