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Free Trade vs Protectionism

One of the greatest international economic debates of all time has been the issue of free trade versus protectionism. Proponents of free trade believe in opening the globalmarket, with as few restrictions on trade as possible. Proponents of protectionism believein concentrating on the welfare of the domestic economy by limiting the open-marketpolicy of the United States. However, what effects does this policy have for theinternational market and the other respective countries in this market? The question is notas complex as it may seem. Both sides have strong viewpoints representing theirrespective opinions, and even the population of the United States is divided when it comesto taking a stand in the issue. After examining all factors on the two conflicting sides, it isclear that protectionism, from the side of the United States, is the only way the Americanindustrial economy can expand for the benefit of its citizens and for its national welfare. The economy needs to get itself out of the huge deficit hole that it has created for itself,and lean towards protectionist measures. The dictionary definition of free trade states it as a policy of allowing people ofone country to buy and sell from other countries without restrictions. This idea originatedwith the influential British economist, philosopher, and author of The Wealth of Nations,Adam Smith. He inspired the writings of great economists such as David Ricardo, KarlMarx, Thomas Malthus, and others. According to Smith, specialization and trade is thebest solution to create a flourishing American economy, with its industries ruling theeconomic world. William H. Peterson, holder of the Lundy Chair of Business Philosophyat Campbell University, agrees with Smith’s philosophy. He states that the idea of freetrade allows the efficient use of economic resources and will promote internationalcooperation.One of the biggest examples of international cooperation is the Brett...

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