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Free Trade Essay

1380 words - 6 pages

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 school and becoming educated the county is being hampered in future development. (p. 71) This means that because young adults aren’t in school they won’t be giving back to their country in a sense by being business owners of themselves and so forth. Having big factories also discourages local investment. (p.71) People in China investing in American companies is really only going to effect them and not the masses of people they would having working for them. Many critics of free trade consider it to be transnational to exploit poor or developing nations. (p. 71) That free trade is taking advantage of poor developing counties instead of helping them.
Free trade rules and agreements also favor rich companies with large corporations. (p.72) Farmers from countries like Mexico and China believe they cannot complete with famers from counties like the U.S and European where the government give tax cuts and finical support. (p.72) In the US we have many different organizations such as the Department of Agriculture that takes care and provides laws for farmers. In other counties they don’t have that advantage like we do. Rich counties also put high tariffs on foreign goods, which are called, protectionism, while at the same time...

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