Monday, May 4, 2015

Free Trade Benefits vs. Fears of Foreign Goods

Richard Ebeling emails:
Dear Bob,

I have a new article on the news and commentary website, “EpicTimes,” on “Free Trade Benefits vs. Fears of Foreign Goods.”

Criticisms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement have been coming fast and furious, even before the terms of the proposed treaty are known and what it may entail.

But one thing is sure, and that is that TPP will be another example of government “managed trade,” not real free trade. Instead, it will include, no doubt, hundreds of pages of detailed rules, regulations, requirements and prohibitions imposed by the participating governments in pursuit of benefits for various, respective, special interest groups that have their influence over those in political power.

Real free trade is comprised of all the transactions between private individuals pursuing their various person interests for improvements in their lives. The benefits from free trade come from the gains from trade through division of labor and specialization for mutual betterment.

Unfortunately, these benefits are often hidden from view and understanding by those who muddy the waters with various anti-free trade arguments. I attempt to challenge and refute some of these, including the ideas that foreign competition and goods “steal” jobs and business, or that benefits can only come if there are reciprocal trade agreements to low trade barriers, or that “unfair” trade practices by other countries justifies trade restrictions by one’s own government.

It was long ago shown by noted defenders of free trade such as Adam Smith and David Hume that freedom of trade brings mutual gains and growing prosperity for all participants, as well as the possibility for goodwill and peace among nations.

Best Wishes,

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