International Relations Theories, Liberalism, Supports Free Trade Essay

International Relations Theories, Liberalism, Supports Free Trade Essay

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One of international relations theories, liberalism, supports free trade. Liberals believe that free trade benefits everyone, increases efficiency, and raises productivity. A famous liberal thinker, Adam Smith, believes that free trade enhances national economic capacity through the increase of connection between countries. He believes that free trade provides states not only to play an important role in international economic affairs, for example division of labour, property and justice, but also to promote self-interests and national defence. Smith provided an argument, with his concept of absolute advantage, that two countries could benefit from trade if they specialise in the goods they produced better than their rivals and traded with each other (Smith and Cannan, 2000). In contrast, nationalist and radical critics, such as Marxists, argue that free trade can undermine national economies, create uneven development, and damage environment. These thinkers are supporters of protectionism. They believe that the protection of local production increases national welfare and that the regulation of economic life enhances state power or protect a variety of national groups from competition (O’Brien and Williams, 2013).

First, states can obtain benefits from free trade policy because of the elimination of tariffs and subsidies. Supporters of free trade advocate the elimination of tariffs and subsidies oppose regulation that force companies to pay extra for doing business in foreign markets. A main principle of free trade is non-intervention from the government. Under free trade policy, uncontrolled or unrestricted access to economy allows states to open up of all international markets, and this makes all states equal competitors ...


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...r trade is a trade agreement to focus on “fair trade” of workers and farmers, the wages, and working conditions of labour in developing markets where wages and working conditions are otherwise poor compared to their more developed counter-parts. In fair trade agreement, protectionism remains as a dominant system of protecting own farmers. However, the protectionist states can still exchange their goods and services (Rubicam, 2013). If all the states accept fair trade agreement, not free trade agreement, there would be a possibility that states can explore their businesses world more widely and find another way to develop their companies. This could create a better working condition such as non-discrimination and gender equality, a regulation of no child or forced labour, and opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers (O’Brein, and Williams, 2007).

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