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For Or Against Free Trade Essay

2933 words - 12 pages

The argument has been made that free trade is the path that should and will be taken to improve the world economy for all. Through it States will be able to better allocate resources, labor, and goods. This sentiment, however, is not shared my all. A major opponent of free trade is Ian Fletcher. His argument against free trade is sound, however through other readings, especially Moonhawk Kim’s on the GATT/WTO, it can be seen that the theory of free trade is still evolving at the international level and that by sticking with it and having States being willing to work with each other it will end up being able to accomplish all that it is theorized to do.
The argument has been made that ...view middle of the document...

This then allows States to find the right balance of open and closed when it comes to their economy, allowing them to have control over their economy and not some “imaginary” force.
In addition to believing that globalization is a choice, Fletcher continues this argument with free trade. Fletcher argues that history is not a one way street that only flows in one direction. Each state has the ability to choose how open they wish their economy to be, arguing that while some see the Sate as irrelevant due to free trade it is not. It is the domestic market where he believes competitive advantage is created and sustained, and without such economies of whole suffer.
Fletcher then makes it a point to disprove the “myths” behind free trade. The first of these myths is that States operate in a borderless economy. To show the falseness behind this he uses the economy of the United States. The United States economy is roughly thirty percent international trade and seventy percent domestic trade. In a borderless economy one would expect the percentages to be reversed or closer together and the economies being what they are show that while international trade is important, it is just a small percentage of the overall economy of a State.
Next, Fletcher examines the argument that free trade would bring about world peace. This is a promise notable pro free trade economists have made along with the World Trade Organization. However, by using history, Fletcher seeks to disprove this thought. Beginning with England, a State that was one of the most open economies in the nineteenth century fought in multiple wars. In addition a more modern example of the United States shows that its’ open economy has not been able to deter the threat of terrorism. In fact the Central Intelligent warned the US government that the process of globalization will be difficult for many and will be marked with volatility and a widening economic divide that would lead to political instability and religious extremism.
Lastly, Fletcher goes through a series of arguments supporters of free trade make in order to show the futility of those against it. It is argued by those for free trade that those against it are stuck in the past, uneducated, that the United States has move past the need for unskilled labor, that large trade debt does not matter as it brings in investments and that offshoring of American jobs is minor and infrequent. To these arguments Fletcher points out that it is a lack of understanding by those in favor of free trade that leads to these myths.
Those against free trade are not stuck in the past or uneducated. Many of them come from small factory towns that are suffering due to the movement of the factories to States with cheaper labor and these lower skilled American workers are left without work. The United States still has a need for low skilled jobs. Then the idea that we can sustain the deficit due to foreign investment is not a correct idea, most go...

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