Exchange of goods and services without barriers


An Essay on the Influence of a low Price of Corn on the Profits; shewing the Inexpediency of Restrictions on Importation: With Remarks on Mr Malthus' Two Last Publications, by David Ricardo, 1815
"The principles which regulate rent are briefly stated ... The consideration of those principles, together with those which regulate the profit of stock, have convinced me of the policy of leaving the importation of corn unrestricted by law."
Bush as Fake Free-Trader, by Sheldon Richman, 28 Nov 2003
Economic Nationalism, Enemy of the People, by Sheldon Richman, 17 Nov 2006
"... under free trade in a global economy people have to adjust to changing conditions. What's the alternative? Government policies to freeze the status quo in place? If that thinking had prevailed earlier, some of us would be poor farmers and blacksmiths today; the rest would not have been born. Moreover, disruptive change is not something only foreigners can cause."
Examining Reagan's Record on Free Trade, by Sheldon Richman, The Wall Street Journal, 10 May 1982
Related Topic: Ronald W. Reagan
"Mr. Reagan wants to be known as a free-trader. Indeed, he lists as heroes some of history's foremost free-traders: Frederic Bastiat, Richard Cobden, Ludwig von Mises and F. A. Hayek, all of whom would find import quotas odious. ... How ironic that Mr. Reagan, admirer of free-traders, has yet to discover the senseless self-deprivation of protectionism and the imperative of immediate elimination of U.S. trade barriers."
Farm Subsidies Must Go, by Sheldon Richman, 30 Apr 2004
Related Topic: Brazil
Free Trade or Protectionism?, by Vincent H. Miller, 1988
Free Trade With All Nations, by Richard Cobden, 15 Jan 1846
Related Topic: Free Markets
Speech to the National Anti-Corn-Law League, discussing their work over the past seven years and predicting immediate repeal of the Corn Laws in the upcoming session of Parliament
"I look farther; I see in the Free Trade principle that which shall act on the moral world as the principle of gravitation in the universe, - drawing men together, thrusting aside the antagonism of race and creed and language, and uniting us in the bonds of eternal peace. ... I have speculated on what the effect of the triumph of this principle may be. I believe that the effect will be to change the face of the world, so as to introduce a system of government entirely distinct from that which now prevails."
Henry George and the Tariff Question, by Karen DeCoster, Daily Article, 19 Apr 2006
Related Topic: Henry George
"George holds up free trade as the natural condition. That is, men, when unaffected by artificial restraints, instinctively engage in free exchange whereas protection is a fabrication of mankind, and therefore is not native to our state of being. ... The protective tariff is popular due to the misconceptions that surround its potential for accruing benefits to the populace."
Is Free Trade Obsolete? Part 1, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Apr 2004
Related Topics: Law of Comparative Advantage, Paul Craig Roberts
"... trade makes them both better off .... The people of a country will not find it to their interest to make everything they want, because to do so they would have to divert resources from activities in which they have a greater advantage."
Is Free Trade Obsolete? Part 2, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, May 2004
Related Topics: Law of Comparative Advantage, Paul Craig Roberts
"Americans now face new competition in lines of work that were formerly sheltered ... by foreign tyranny. ... Americans can ... arrogantly claim that high-tech jobs belong to Americans, and lobby for protectionism ... Or they can lobby for an end to the mixed economy that holds down investment and wealth creation."
Tear Down the Trade Walls, by Sheldon Richman, 22 Apr 2005
Related Topic: Ukraine
"When cheap steel comes in from foreign countries, it may cost American steel makers business, but it helps American steel users, such as the auto makers, to be more competitive. Conversely, a trade barrier that reduces foreign sales reduces the number of dollars foreigners have with which to buy American products."
The Case for Free Trade, by Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman, Hoover Digest, 1997
The Reagan Record On Trade: Rhetoric Vs. Reality, by Sheldon Richman, Cato Policy Analysis No. 107, 30 May 1988
Related Topic: Ronald W. Reagan
"People tend to be implicit free traders and explicit protectionists. When they shop, they buy what best satisfies them in quality and price without regard to national origin ... But when people talk about world trade, they become protectionists ... A president truly committed to free trade would have exerted his influence to show why the implicit free traders are right and the explicit protectionists are wrong."
Trade Restrictions Show Hypocrisy, by Sheldon Richman, 12 Sep 2003
We Need Real Free Trade Now, by Sheldon Richman, 4 Feb 2004
Mexico's Advanced Auction on Stolen Goods, by Christopher Westley, Daily Article, 10 Jul 2006
Related Topics: Mexico, Voting
"With free trade, such resentment would not exist today. But the fact is that for many countries, trade with the United States requires IMF and World Bank loans and comes with strings that reward politically well-connected industries. Indeed, if trade were truly free, it wouldn't require trade treaties (such as NAFTA and CAFTA) with tens of thousands of pages ..."
Richard Cobden: Activist for Peace, by Gary Galles, 19 Feb 2003
Related Topic: Richard Cobden
Examines Cobden's arguments for trade liberalization, with extensive set of quotations
"Further, Cobden saw free trade as the basis of peace, rather than government controlled trade, which often led to war, and to the moral and economic harm of people. And, indeed, the period of liberalized trade coincided with one of the most peaceful periods in history."
Richard Cobden's Triumphant Crusade for Free Trade and Peace: With Trade Liberalization, England Prospered, by Jim Powell, The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty, Jun 1995
Related Topic: Richard Cobden
Extensive biographical essay, including Cobden's relationship with John Bright as they campaigned for repeal of the Corn Laws, and his later peace activism
"In all this, one name towers above the rest: Richard Cobden, the straight-talking English textile entrepreneur who gave up his business to crusade during three crucial decades. He pursued the most successful political strategies for free trade. He articulated the moral case which proved decisive. His inspired speeches attracted thousands of people at a time and raised plenty of money."
Substance, not style, by Daniel Koffler, 9 Feb 2008
Related Topics: Barack Obama, Health Care
Contrasts several of Obama's issue positions with those of Hillary Clinton and argues his approach could be called left-libertarianism
"At the moment, Obama's and Clinton's positions on trade are roughly equivalent - both deserve credit for taking initial steps toward dismantling the obscene US government-supported agricultural cartels - but the present dynamic is Obama moving more and more in the direction of economic freedom, competition and individual choice ..."
Teaching Basic Economics to Fifth Graders, by Arthur E. Foulkes, Daily Article, 21 Jun 2006
Related Topics: Economics, Children, Money, Prices
"... they seemed to clearly understand that exchange involves giving up something you value less for something you value more and finding someone else with opposite valuations. ... This allowed us to discuss the idea of a 'fair' trade — which I defined as a trade where both parties voluntarily take part."
Thomas Paine on Commerce, by Gary M. Galles, Daily Article, 16 May 2003
Related Topic: Thomas Paine
"The principle of free trade is simply that of the freedom to choose for yourself who you will associate with in productive ways, and how you will arrange those associations, without artificial government restrictions to limit those choices. That principle is an essential, inalienable part of having ownership of oneself."


The Case for Free Trade and Open Immigration
    by Jacob G. Hornberger (Editor), Richard M. Ebeling (Editor), The Future of Freedom Foundation, 1995