The Pros and Cons of Free Trade Essay

The Pros and Cons of Free Trade Essay

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The Pros and Cons of Free Trade


Free trade is exchange of goods and commodities between parties without the enforcement of tariffs or duties. The trading of goods between people, communities, and nations is not an innovative economic practice. Nations are however the main element within a free trade agreement. By examining free trade through three different political ideologies: Liberal, Nationalistic, and Marxist approaches, the advantages and disadvantages will become apparent. Theses three ideologies offer the best evaluation of free trade from three different perspectives.

The fundamental component for a liberal political economy is the concept that there be no interference from the government or any other outside source. It is this ‘laissez-faire’ approach that enables the liberal political economy to create what is known as a division of labour. Within this division of labour there are individuals who manufacture goods and those who manage goods. It is the latter however, that end up with the most capital in the long run. The advantage of free trade from a liberal perspective is the ability of the minority controlling the goods to ascertain more wealth than the majority manufacturing the goods. What Smith’s perspective does not take into account is why nations with more low-level workers are less prosperous than nations with more advanced means of production. Nations that have advanced technologically are better off because their means of production allow for more production from less workers, but cost more and are less appealing to those in control. This element relates directly to the disadvantage of a liberal perspective. While the rich become more affluent and cheaper workers are available in struggli...


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...ne is treated equally. The advantage within free trade from a Marxist perspective is poorer nations are allowed the same opportunities as the richer nations. The disadvantage is that no matter how much one nation produce’s (their effort), they are entitled to the same opportunities. The wealthy and perhaps more productive nations would view this as unfair to them.

Free Trade is a beneficial idea if all parties involved, that is, the workers, the state, and the private sector, could be represented equally and justly. Until all three ingredients are given the same chances, each perspective will allow for different advantages and disadvantages. By examining the liberal, nationalistic, and Marxist perspectives individually and in contrast with one another, free trade can be seen as a completely different political economy from one region or nation to the next.

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