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The Necessity of Free Trade

Walter E. Block


The argument of this essay is that the United States must adopt a policy of full free trade. In order to promote the public good it must completely eliminate protective measures like tariffs and quotas. These protect only domestic producers from foreign competition. Instead of protecting domestic consumers, trade restrictions harm their economic interest and violate their right to buy without government involvement. In todays global economy, it is essential to maintain barrier-free exchange in the use of the worlds scarce resources. Protectionism reduces both absolute and comparative advantage and causes damaging counter-trade policies. This is aside from the fact that it can cripple domestic industries.

Walter E. Block, "The Necessity of Free Trade," Journal of Markets & Morality 1, no. 2 (October 1998): 192-200

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