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  • Free trade is a trade policy that does not restrict imports or exports, i.e., goods bought or sold across international borders. It can also be understood as the free market idea applied to international trade. In government, free trade is predominantly advocated by political parties that hold economically liberal positions, while economic nationalist political parties generally support protectionism, the opposite of free trade.


    Free Trade, by Alan S. Blinder, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 2008
    Presents the case for free trade by pointing out various protectionist arguments which are mistaken or fall short of their presumed benefits
    For more than two centuries economists have steadfastly promoted free trade among nations as the best trade policy. Despite this intellectual barrage, many "practical" men and women continue to view the case for free trade skeptically, as an abstract argument made by ivory tower economists ... These practical people "know" that our vital industries must be protected from foreign competition ... [T]he conclusion seems clear and compelling: while protectionism is sold as job saving, it probably really amounts to job swapping. It protects jobs in some industries only by destroying jobs in others.

    Web Pages

    Free Trade - Online Library of Liberty
    Links to 28 locally hosted titles (books and essays) that discuss free trade
    One of the key concepts of free markets and economic freedom is the idea of free trade, which is the idea that there should be no restriction in the right and ability of individuals to exchange the products of their labor and industry with other people.


    Adam Smith Needs a Paper Clip: The pin factory, re-examined, by Virginia Postrel, Reason, May 2017
    A short history of pins as fasteners from Adam Smith in the late 18th century to the invention of the paper clip at the turn of the 19th century
    In 1839, the Howe factory had three machines making 24,000 pins a day—and the inventor was clamoring for pin tariffs to offset the nearly 25% tax that pin makers had to pay on imported brass wire, a reminder that punitive tariffs hurt domestic manufacturers as well as consumers. "Considering the great quantity and value of pins used in this country ..." Howe wrote, "it would seem reasonable that encouragement should be given to an attempt to manufacture them; or at least that no obstacle arising out of the past legislation ..., should be allowed to remain in the way of such an undertaking."
    The American Heritage of "Isolationism", by Gregory Bresiger, Freedom Daily, May 2006
    Criticizes the use of the word "isolationist" by the media, "internationalists" and other foreign intervention promoters, looking at the heritage of noninterventionism as exemplified by Washington's Farewell Address
    [W]hat was [Washington's] positive foreign-policy program? It was person-to-person relations. It was also commerce. Trade was the positive force that Washington—and many of the great classical liberals from Cobden and Bright to the American anti-imperialist merchants who opposed the Spanish-American War ...—believed would bring peoples together, in spite of the prejudices of their governments ... This idea became popular in the 19th century during the high point of classical liberalism. Men are hesitant to cut the throats of men who are putting food on their tables, said ... David Ricardo.
    Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Who First Put Laissez-Faire Principles into Action, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Aug 1997
    Biographical essay, covering his life, works and involvement with the Physiocrats, as well as his accomplishments as an administrator
    "I know no other means of quickening any commerce whatever than by granting to it the greatest liberty," Turgot wrote, "and the freedom from all taxes, which the ill-understood interest of the Exchequer has multiplied to excess on all kinds of merchandise ..." Then, talking about how trade retaliations back fire: "The truth is, that in aiming at injuring others, we injure only ourselves." ... He recommended that the government buy ships in Sweden rather than France, which would cut costs 40%. Turgot countered ... objections by observing that the Swedes drank French wines and wore French clothes.
    Bauer, Peter (1915-2002), by James A. Dorn, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical and bibliographical essay
    [Bauer] also noted that those countries that had the fewest commercial contacts with the West were the least developed. He focused attention on the dynamic gains from free trade. In his last book, From Subsistence to Exchange and Other Essays, he wrote, "Contacts through traders and trade are prime agents in the spread of new ideas, modes of behavior, and methods of production. External commercial contacts often first suggest the very possibility of change, including economic improvement."
    Blockading with Trade Restrictions, by Jim Powell, 27 Oct 2010
    Explores the writings of Henry George in his book Protection or Free Trade (1879) offering advice to current waves of protectionism
    A whiff of protectionism is in the air. Battered by the recession, many Americans are beginning to blame some of their woes on foreigners. There's talk that the federal government ought to take action against Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans, Europeans and others ... Such observations inspired George's most famous lines: "Protective tariffs are as much applications of force as are blockading squadrons, and their object is the same—to prevent trade ... What protection teaches us is to do to ourselves in time of peace what enemies seek to do to us in time of war."
    Related Topics: Henry George, Monopoly, War
    The Bridge of Asses, by Lew Rockwell, Mises Daily, 2 Oct 2003
    Argues that minimum wage legislation is "the pons asinorum of the relationship between economics and politics", explaining that labor prices (wages) are no different from other prices in the marketplace
    As for restrictions on trade, those who support ongoing sanctions against Iraq and other countries need to consider that these polices violate free trade, and give rise to hatreds that can fuel terrorism ... people from groups like the Institute of International Economics had raised serious questions about the effects of these sanctions. Remember too that this is a region rich with oil profits made possible in part by domestic restrictions on energy production. This is why a policy of free trade with all peoples of the world needs to be matched by loosened energy regulations at home.
    Bright, John (1811-1859), by Aaron Steelman, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical and bibliographical essay
    In 1845, in a speech before the league, Bright made the case against the protection of Great Britain's agricultural sector from foreign competition. He argued that,
    by withdrawing the stimulus of competition, the law prevents the good cultivation of the land of our country, and therefore diminishes the supply of food. ... The most demoniacal ingenuity could not have invented a scheme more calculated to bring millions of the working classes of this country to a state of pauperism, suffering, discontent ...
    The same year that Bright delivered this speech, Ireland suffered a tragic famine ...
    Related Topics: John Bright, Richard Cobden
    The Brilliance of Turgot, by Murray N. Rothbard, Apr 1986
    Biography and review of Turgot's major writings; introduction to The Turgot Collection (2011), edited by David Gordon
    Turgot made it clear that the network of detailed mercantilist regulation of industry was not simply intellectual error, but a veritable system of coerced cartelization and special privilege conferred by the State. For Turgot, freedom of domestic and foreign trade followed equally from the enormous mutual benefits of free exchange. All the restrictions "forget that no commercial transaction can be anything other than reciprocal," and that it is absurd to try to sell everything to foreigners while buying nothing from them in return.
    Bush as Fake Free-Trader, by Sheldon Richman, 28 Nov 2003
    Comments on George W. Bush's claim to being a free-trader while at the same time imposing quotas and tariffs on products from China
    In London [Bush] said free trade works only when the playing field is level. Since playing fields are never level we never get around to free trade. How convenient ... Here's what the counterfeit free-traders don't want you to know: We should open our markets not primarily to get others to open theirs, but rather to enjoy the fullest array of the world's products. Our standard of living is determined by the accessibility of the goods and services we want. Opening our markets means that we are free to buy what we want from whomever we want. In that way we can get the most from our incomes.
    Related Topics: George W. Bush, China
    The Case for Free Trade, by Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman, Hoover Digest, 30 Oct 1997
    Discusses various arguments made about tariffs, protectionism and foreign exchange intervention, concluding with advocating completely free trade; adapted from "The Tyranny of Controls" in Free to Choose: A Personal Statement (1980)
    Economists often do disagree, but that has not been true with respect to international trade. Ever since Adam Smith there has been virtual unanimity among economists, whatever their ideological position on other issues, that international free trade is in the best interests of trading countries and of the world. Yet tariffs have been the rule. The only major exceptions are nearly a century of free trade in Great Britain after the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, thirty years of free trade in Japan after the Meiji Restoration, and free trade in Hong Kong under British rule.
    Related Topic: Prices
    Cobden, Richard (1804-1865), by John M. Brady, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    The Manchester Anti-Corn Law Association was organized in September 1838, and its successor, the Anti-Corn Law League, in March 1839, to seek repeal of the onerous duties on imported grain. This tax kept domestic prices high for the benefit of those who owned land ... However, this tariff impoverished consumers, particularly those poor households ... After 7 years of assiduous organization and unrelenting agitation both inside and outside Parliament, the league was finally successful in its campaign to repeal the "bread tax" and so deny the "breadstealers" further ill-gotten gains.
    Related Topics: Richard Cobden, War
    Collected Works of Nassau William Senior, by Donald Rutherford (editor), 1998
    "Introduction" of subject book, includes biographical and bibliographical information
    With an assumption of free trade, justified by Adam Smith's absolute advantage theory that international trade is based on a worldwide application of the division of labour principle, Senior considers the effects of successful exporting on the flow of currencies and then on domestic prices ... Senior states that a balance of payments surplus is temporary ... His analysis leads him to denounce the mercantile system, with its recommendations that a country keeps its balance of payments in surplus, practises protection, which makes all nations poorer, and treats money as wealth.
    The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 1, by Wendy McElroy, Freedom Daily, May 2004
    Historical account of Ireland from its earliest inhabitants, through various invaders, conflicts with the English and between Catholics and Protestants, to the mid-nineteenth century
    [T]he anxious British asked loyal Irishmen to organize against an invasion. There was an obstacle ... As commerce flourished, merchants and manufacturers began to resent British mercantilism under which Northern Ireland would produce raw materials and goods, many of which could be shipped only to England. In turn, England enjoyed a monopoly on selling many goods back to them, and industries that threatened English interests were outlawed. The supposedly loyal Ulstermen paraded two cannon with placards that read, "Free Trade or This." The British Parliament loosened trade restrictions.
    Related Topics: Thirteen Colonies, England, Ireland
    The Colonial Venture of Ireland, Part 2, by Wendy McElroy, Freedom Daily, Jun 2004
    Historical account of Ireland from 1840 to the first decade of the twentieth century, including the Young Irelanders, the famines, the Irish in North America, Captain Boycott, the demand for home rule, the Gaelic League and the emergence of Sinn Fein
    The British Corn Laws [imposed] duties on non-English grain [and] guaranteed English farmers a minimum price for their crops. But, without competition, the British grain was so expensive that the Irish could not substitute imported grain for potatoes. Sir Robert Peel, prime minister of Britain, stated of the famine, "The remedy is the removal of all impediments to the import of all kinds of human food." Protectionists within his own party, the Tories, cried out in opposition and Peel tendered his resignation to Queen Victoria. She refused to accept it. The Corn Laws were repealed ...
    The Early Economists Who Tried to Save France, by Richard Ebeling, 31 Oct 2016
    Discusses the Physiocrats, focusing on Quesnay and Turgot
    Another reform that Turgot fostered was the abolition of the laws restricting the free flow of agricultural goods from one part of France to another, particularly during a time of famine. Freedom of trade among the provinces of France would ensure a partial shift of available wheat supplies to those provinces experiencing famine and a high price for cereals from those provinces experiencing a greater abundance and therefore lower prices for bread. Said Turgot,
    "It is necessary, then, that the transport and the storage of grain should be entirely free ..."
    The 'economic liberalism' of Sir Edward Coke, by Murray N. Rothbard, Economic Thought Before Adam Smith, 1995
    From chapter 10, "Mercantilism and freedom in England from the Tudors to the Civil War"; argues that Coke was not a sympathizer of laissez-faire but rather objected to the king (versus the Parliament) intervening in markets
    [Coke's] approach to foreign trade was profoundly mercantilist. Thus, in the 1621 session of Parliament ... Coke deplored the economic effects of the alleged scarcity of coin. He attacked the unfavorable balance of trade, deplored the fact that the East India Company was allowed to export bullion, and attacked the import trade with France as introducing into England immoral luxury items such as 'wines and lace, and such like trifles.' ... Coke also tried his best to cripple the new practice of exporting unfinished cloth to the Continent and then reimporting the finished cloth.
    Related Topics: Edward Coke, Monopoly
    Economic Nationalism, Enemy of the People, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 17 Nov 2006
    Considers the outcome of the 2006 U.S. congressional elections and explains the benefits of free trade and the perils of protectionism and economic nationalism
    The key to understanding the case—and the need—for free trade is ...: scarcity. At any given time we don't have nearly enough labor, resources, and capital to make all the things we want, including the things we don't yet know we want. So nature forces us to choose among competing desires ... A modern new plant in California can mean unemployment in Ohio. What does the economic nationalist say to that? Do we need trade barriers between states? Why not between cities, neighborhoods, households? If that makes no sense, then we're just arguing about how big the free-trade zone should be.
    Economics Ideas: David Hume on Self-Coordinating and Correcting Market Processes, by Richard M. Ebeling, 5 Dec 2016
    Explores Hume's contributions to the then young subject of "political economy", particularly on the mercantilist view of the need for a "positive" balance of trade
    David Hume emphasized that commerce and trade were among the most important avenues to offer opportunities to raise people's standards of living, and to bring refinement and cultural betterment to a growing portion of a nation's population. Commerce also served as an important leveler of the material inequality of a society based on political privilege and government-bestowed monopoly. Through trade, a wider variety and quality of goods became available to a growing number of the people in any society, fostering the development of a "middle class."
    Related Topics: Government, David Hume, Money
    An Essay on the Influence of a low Price of Corn on the Profits of Stock, by David Ricardo, 1815
    Full title: An Essay on The Influence of a low Price of Corn on the Profits of Stock; shewing the Inexpediency of of Restrictions on Importation: with Remarks on Mr. Malthus' Two Last Publications: "An Inquiry into th e Nature and Progress of Rent;" and "The Grounds of an Opinion on the Policy of restricting the Importation of Foreign Corn."
    Ricardo criticizes Malthus, who had previously written "Observations on the Corn Laws" generally supportive of free trade, for his The Grounds of an Opinion on the Policy of Restricting the Importation of Foreign Corn
    [I]n proportion as such trade shall be generally known and followed, there will be such a fall in the price of the foreign commodity in the importing country, in consequence of its increased abundance, and the greater facility with which it is procured, that its sale will afford only the common rate of profits—that so far from the high profits obtained by the few who first engaged in the new trade elevating the general rate of profits—those profits will themselves sink to the ordinary level. The effects are precisely similar to those which follow from the use of improved machinery at home.
    Related Topic: Wages
    Examining Reagan's Record on Free Trade, by Sheldon Richman, The Wall Street Journal, 10 May 1982
    Analyzes several actions taken by the Reagan administration that belie Mr. Reagan's alleged pro-free trade stance
    [Reagan] 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 ... Rationalizations built around the causes of "reciprocity" and "fair competition" fail to disguise such efforts to retreat from the life-serving worldwide division of labor and comparative advantage ... They suffer from the classic mercantilist symptom: failure to understand that since economies are meant to serve consumers ..., imports are an unconditional blessing regardless of the export statistics.
    Explaining Commerce to the Commerce Secretary, by Colin Grabow, Inu Manak, 14 Dec 2017
    Criticizes Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for his comments about the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, showing he "forgets some basic lessons of international trade"
    [T]he citizens of both the United States and South Korea should be left to their own devices to purchase the products and services they desire and trade as they see fit with minimal interference. Instead of bemoaning a goods trade deficit that is more statistical quirk than indicator of economic vitality, or puzzling over why the United States does not export more of a particular good, Ross would do better to spend his time removing the remaining barriers to trade between the United States and South Korea and allowing the miracle of comparative advantage to work its magic.
    Fear Not China, by Sheldon Richman, 8 Jun 2005
    Counsels Americans not to be afraid of China's economic activities, debunking concerns over "job losses" and the trade deficit
    [N]ow it is an economic fear: China will buy up all the beef. China will buy up all the wheat ... China's trade surplus with the United States will put us hopelessly in debt ... Let's hear no more trade-deficit-equals-debt buncombe ... [T]here is no reason to expect bilateral merchandise accounts to balance ... [T]hat deficit is perfectly offset by the capital-account surplus with China: what they don't spend here they invest here ... Anyone ... concerned about China's being a creditor should direct his wrath at the U.S. government. It's the one ... selling Treasury bills to the Chinese.
    Related Topics: China, Labor
    Foreword, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., A Foreign Policy of Freedom, 2007
    Examines the historical precedents for the Paulian view that American foreign and domestic policy both be conducted in the same non-interventionist manner
    The freedom to trade internationally is an essential principle ... [C]onsumers should not be penalized for buying from ... or selling to anyone, regardless of their residence. Nor should domestic suppliers be granted anything like a monopoly or subsidized treatment. Nor should trade be used as a weapon in the form of sanctions. Ron Paul has upheld these principles as well, which makes him an old-fashioned liberal in the manner of Cobden and Bright ... He has also rejected the mistake of many free traders who believe that a military arm is necessary to back the invisible hand of the marketplace.
    Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850): Between the French and Marginalist Revolutions, by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, 2000
    Biographical and bibliographical essay which also analyzes Bastiat's ideas in relation to the Austrian School
    The editors [of the Journal des Economistes] published the article "The Influence of English and French Tariffs," in the October 1844 issue, and it unquestionably became the most persuasive argument for free trade in particular, and for economic freedom in general, that had ever appeared in France, if not all of Europe ... [Bastiat] immediately gained national and international fame and, as a fellow advocate of free trade, began a friendship with Richard Cobden, the leader of the British Anti-Corn Law League, which succeeded in abolishing all trade restrictions in England by 1850.
    Frederic Bastiat, Ingenious Champion for Liberty and Peace, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Jun 1997
    Biographical essay of Frédéric Bastiat, covering those who influenced him as well as those influenced by him, his writings (including correspondence with his friend Coudroy), his roles in the French Constituent and Legistative Assemblies and his legacy
    Cobden and Bright persuaded Parliament to unilaterally abolish grain tariffs without asking concessions from any nation, including France, which had fought England through many bitter wars. Cobden and Bright had made a compelling case that free trade would benefit England, especially poor people who needed access to cheap food, even if other nations kept their borders closed. Moreover, they maintained, unilateral free trade would contribute to international peace by taking politics out of trade, reducing the risk that economic disputes might escalate into political and military conflicts.
    Frédéric Bastiat: Two Hundred Years On, by Joseph R. Stromberg, 2001
    Extensive survey of Bastiat's life and writings; "EH" refers to Economic Harmonies, "Sophisms" to Economic Sophisms, "Essays" to Selected Essays in Political Economy (all three from FEE, 1964)
    Not only was protectionism an important form of plunder, by setting a precedent for state intervention in the exchange system, it encouraged more radical programs ... Building on mercantilist fallacies, protectionists wished to block imports and foster exports. Hence, "[t]he protectionist system and the colonial system are, then, simply two aspects of one and the same theory. Preventing our fellow citizens from buying from foreigners and forcing foreigners to buy from our fellow citizens are simply two consequences of one and the same principle" (Sophisms, p. 86).
    Free Market, by Murray N. Rothbard, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 1993
    Originally published in the The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics; definition of the free market and some related terms, e.g., exchange, prices, demand, using lay examples
    Trade, or exchange, is engaged in precisely because both parties benefit; if they did not expect to gain, they would not agree to the exchange. This simple reasoning refutes the argument against free trade typical of the "mercantilist" period of sixteenth- to eighteenth-century Europe ... The mercantilists argued that in any trade, one party can benefit only at the expense of the other—that in every transaction there is ... an "exploiter" and an "exploited." We can ... see the fallacy in this ... viewpoint: the willingness and even eagerness to trade means that both parties benefit.
    Related Topics: Free Market, Baseball, Socialism
    A Free-Market Constitution for Hong Kong: A Blueprint for China [PDF], by Alvin Rabushka, Cato Journal, 1989
    Discusses the draft of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), expected to be promulgated in 1990 (actually adopted 4 April 1990 and went into effect 1 July 1997), as a "free-market constitution"
    Sections 3 and 4 (in Chapter V of the draft Basic Law) combine to ensure policies of free external and free internal trade. Specific articles are written to ensure that the HKSAR shall continue to do business on the basis of external free trade, and to that end the free movement of goods, intangible assets, and capital shall be maintained. Foreign investment shall be protected by law. The region shall remain a free port, true to its historical founding principles dating back to 1841. Finally, the HKSAR shall practice free and open policies regarding industry, commerce, and other trades.
    Free Trade or Protectionism?, by Vincent H. Miller, James R. Elwood, 1988
    Educational pamphlet to inform about the benefits of free trade and the costs of so-called "protectionism" or "fair trade"
    Frederic Bastiat presented the practical case for free trade: "It is always beneficial," he said, "for a nation to specialize in what it can produce best and then trade with others to acquire goods at costs lower than it would take to produce them at home." In the 20th century, journalist Frank Chodorov made a similar observation: "Society thrives on trade simply because trade makes specialization possible, and specialization increases output, and increased output reduces the cost in toil for the satisfactions men live by. That being so, the market place is a most humane institution."
    Related Topics: Prices, Taxation, War
    Free Trade. XX. Manchester, January 15, 1846, by Richard Cobden, 15 Jan 1846
    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 looked even farther. I have speculated, and probably dreamt, in the dim future—ay, a thousand years hence—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.
    Related Topic: Free Market
    Government Keeps People Poor, by Sheldon Richman, 28 Jun 2006
    Enumerates five ways in which, although politicians claim to care about the poor, government keeps people in poverty
    How does government keep people poor? A brief article cannot count all the ways, but we can cover the highlights ... First, low-income people pay various taxes ... Second, the government does many things that make the cost of living higher than it would otherwise be. Tariffs and quotas on imports raise the price of necessities: shoes, clothing, food, and more. Does it make sense to bemoan the fate of the poor while artificially holding prices high as a favor to wealthy producers?
    Henry George and the Tariff Question, by Karen De Coster, Mises Daily, 19 Apr 2006
    After some introductory remarks and a biographical section on Henry George, examines the protective tariff arguments posed by George in Protection or Free Trade
    [I]n Protection or Free Trade, ... [George] arrives at a conclusion that is decidedly in favor or free trade—as opposed to protective prescriptions—as a surefire solution to the ills of poverty ... [He] 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.
    Related Topic: Henry George
    Hoover's Second Wrecking of American Agriculture, by James Bovard, Freedom Daily, Dec 2005
    Follow-up to "How the Feds Took Over Farming", describes the policies of Hoover's Federal Farm Board, the Smoot-Hawley Act, the Federal Reserve and taxes as contributors to the Great Depression and particularly their effect on farmers
    The Farm Board debacle convinced many farmers that foreign trade was the only thing standing between them and far higher prices. The farm bloc put its weight behind an extreme protectionist measure, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, that boosted tariffs on agricultural products far more than ... on industrial products. [It] turned a bad recession into a worldwide depression. In the year after [it] was enacted, U.S. foreign trade decreased more than 50% ... Once the [U.S.] stopped purchasing European goods, Germany and other European powers were forced to default on their debts to the United States.
    How Americans Can Help Ukrainians, by Sheldon Richman, 13 Mar 2014
    Suggests opening U.S. borders to allow Ukrainians (and others) to immigrate and thus help defuse the situation in their country with respect to Russia and the Crimea
    So, what to do? ... That is for the people of Ukraine—not someone sitting safely in the United States—to decide. Ukrainian individuals and voluntary organizations should call the shots. I can see no good reason the central government in Kiev should determine for everyone in the country whether Ukrainians will trade with Europe or with Russia. The binary choice is a false alternative, and the two contending power groups should not demand that sort of choice. Free trade is about the liberty of individuals, not the power of governments, which would be well-advised to keep hands off.
    Related Topics: Russia, Ukraine
    How Much Do You Know About Liberty? (a quiz), The Freeman, Jun 1996
    A 20-question quiz (with answers) on various topics related to liberty in the history of the United States
    11. Why did 61 nations raise their tariffs on American products after 1930? ... Nations raised tariffs on American products as retaliation against the Tariff Act of 1930 (Smoot-Hawley). They singled out products which hurt Americans the most ... Spain ... retaliated ... by slapping 125 percent tariffs on U.S. cars ... The Swiss boycotted U.S. products—typewriters and gasoline were especially hard-hit. America's long-time friends and military allies like Canada, Britain, and France were as angry as everyone else. Overall, following Smoot-Hawley, U.S. exports plunged as much as 90 percent.
    Is Free Trade Obsolete? Part 1, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Apr 2004
    Critiques a Paul Craig Roberts and Charles Schumer article arguing against free trade due to a "new economic era", introducing first the law of comparative advantage
    This economic principle [the law of comparative advantage] is often illustrated with a dentist and his hygienist ... [T]rade makes them both better off. The principle is the same with groups (or countries). It is still individuals performing the activities. 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. The price system will lead them to discover that they can be richer if they specialize where their advantage is the greatest and buy the rest from others.
    Is Free Trade Obsolete? Part 2, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, May 2004
    After providing a numerical example of the law of comparative advantage, defends it from the argument (made by Roberts and Schumer) that movable factors of production make the law no longer applicable
    [L]ow-cost foreign labor is now able to provide services to Americans that couldn't have been provided even a short time ago ... But these new developments do not threaten an end to the mutual benefits of world trade ... [N]ew technology may change the configuration of comparative advantage, but it will not abolish the phenomenon. The gains from trade come from diverging opportunity costs faced by different people doing the same things. As long as opportunity costs differ, there will be the possibility for mutual advantage from trade. Entrepreneurs will discover those possibilities ...
    Jane Cobden: Carrying on Her Father's Work, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 25 Jul 2014
    Biographical essay on Jane Cobden, daughter of Richard Cobden, who continued her father's advocacy of free trade and other ideals
    [Cobden] said (in one of my favorite Cobden quotations),
    They who propose to influence by force the traffic of the world, forget that affairs of trade, like matters of conscience, change their very nature if touched by the hand of violence; for as faith, if forced, would no longer be religion, but hypocrisy, so commerce becomes robbery if coerced by warlike armaments.
    Unfortunately, this brilliant insight has eluded most advocates of international trade, especially in the United States going back to its founding, who looked to government to open foreign markets—by force if necessary.
    John Bright: Voice of Victorian Liberalism, by Nicholas Elliott, The Freeman, Aug 1988
    Biographical essay, discussing in detail many of Bright's activities, in and out of Parliament, such as the repeal of the Corn Laws, opposition to the Crimean War, his view on colonial India and the United States, Parliamentary reform and Ireland
    At the end of the [Napoleonic] war, [English landowners] instituted the corn laws ... to protect their domestic monopoly from competition. The laws kept the price of grain high, and since bread was the primary sustenance for most families, the laws created particular hardship for the poor ... In 1845, when Ireland was struck by a potato blight, pressure for repeal grew even stronger ... [O]n June 25, 1846, a bill for repeal was carried. The elimination of other import duties followed, and a 70-year era of British free trade began; in the popular mind, free trade now signified cheap bread.
    Letters to Mr. Malthus, on Several Subjects of Political Economy, and on the Cause of the Stagnation of Commerce, by Jean-Baptiste Say, 1820
    Full title: Lettres à M. Malthus, sur différens sujets d'économie politique, notamment sur les causes de la stagnation générale du commerce
    Series of five letters from Say to Malthus, written in response to the latter's criticisms in Principles of Political Economy (1820); the letters were translated from the French by John Richter
    We ought to be firmly convinced that the more others gain, the more easily we shall sell our produce; that there is only one way to gain, namely, to produce, either by our own labour, or by that of the capital or lands we possess; that unproductive consumers are only substitutes ...; that the more producers, the more consumers there are; that, by the same rule, every nation is interested in the prosperity of every other nation, and that all are interested in having the easiest communications with each other, for every difficulty is equivalent to an increase of expense.
    The Life, Death, and Resurrection of an Economy, by Michael C. Monson, The Freeman, May 1993
    Lengthy economic history of Argentina, from the time of the conquistadors to the early 1990's, highlighting the outstanding growth in the 19th and early 20th century and the economic nationalism and government interventions in the 20th century
    The Napoleonic conflict in Europe ... caused a series of trade disruptions which led to increasingly strident demands by Argentines for unrestricted free trade. Because the merchant-monopolists made rich from Spanish trade regulations were among the most prominent supporters of continued Spanish colonial rule, Argentines increasingly looked to independence ... In 1809 a memorial was drawn up protesting the state of the economy and requesting the resumption of free trade. This memorial was a direct catalyst of the initiation in May 1810 of the revolution against Spain.
    The Many Monopolies, by Charles W. Johnson, 24 Aug 2011
    Describes four ways in which markets are distorted by government interventions, explains Benjamin Tucker's "Four Monopolies", examines five present-day monopolies and discusses Tucker's libertarian views
    With the rise of multinational corporations and neoliberal trade agreements, tariffs have declined over the years. But the specific legal mechanism was less important to Tucker than the purpose of controlling trade to insulate domestic incumbents. In 1888 that meant the tariff. In 2011, it means a vast network of political controls used to manage the "balance of trade": export subsidies, manipulation of exchange rates, and multigovernment agencies like the World Bank and IMF.
    Mexico's Advanced Auction on Stolen Goods, by Christopher Westley, Mises Daily, 10 Jul 2006
    Discusses the 2006 presidential election in Mexico, where the margin of difference between the two leading candidates was less than one percent of the popular vote
    Mexico ... is, after all, the most dependent of any Latin American country on trade with the United States. 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 ... with tens of thousands of pages (read: easy-to-violate) rules or a court that makes criminals of those who engage in voluntary exchanges unapproved by treaty signatories.
    Related Topics: Mexico, Ludwig von Mises, Voting
    Obama Should Steer Clear of Ukraine, by Sheldon Richman, 26 Feb 2014
    Discusses the situation in Ukraine in early 2014, including pronouncements from Barack Obama and the effects of further potential intervention by Europe, NATO, Russia or the U.S.
    Someday, if we're lucky, people will stop thinking of trade as a matter of state policy. Why must Ukraine—meaning its politicians—sign an agreement with either the EU or Russia? Why can't individual Ukrainians and private Ukrainian companies trade freely with whomever they want? (This question also applies to America and every other country.) There are many sources of political tension in the world, but historically a principal one has been the idea that governments must set the terms of trade with people in other nations. Bad idea. Free trade should mean individual freedom.
    Related Topics: Europe, Barack Obama, Russia, Ukraine
    Our Secret Desires: Why we end up with trade barriers, by Frédéric Bastiat, 1848
    Originally "Abondance, Disette" (Abundance, Scarcity), an essay in Economic Sophisms, translated in 1964 by Arthur Goddard; published in Reason March 1989
    Do we make cotton textiles? We wish to sell them at the price that is most advantageous for us. We should heartily approve the proscription of all rival manufacturers; and though we do not dare to express this wish publicly or seek its full realization with any likelihood of success, we nevertheless attain it to a certain extent by roundabout means: for example, by excluding foreign textiles, so as to diminish the supply, and thereby to produce, by the use of force and to our profit, a scarcity of clothing. In the same way, we could make a survey of all industries ...
    Related Topics: Labor, Money, Prices
    Paine, Thomas (1737-1809), by David Fitzsimons, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical and bibliographical essay discussing the main themes in Paine's writings
    Liberal republics, Paine argued, are held together by commerce, rather than status or virtue. Commerce was beneficial to both the citizens and the state; it contributed to the wealth of nations and helped protect liberal governments from internal counterrevolution and invasions by despotic powers. International trade has a "civilizing effect" on all who participate in it; additionally, it would "temper the human mind" and help people "to know and understand each other." Commerce encourages peace by drawing the world together into mutual dependency.
    Related Topics: Thomas Paine, The State, War
    Physiocracy, by George H. Smith, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Discusses the Physiocrats, focusing mostly on Quesnay and his Tableau Économique
    [O]nerous mercantilist regulations and restrictions ... had crippled the French economy. The physiocrats generally advocated a policy of free trade in both domestic and foreign commerce—a view that was reflected in the physiocratic motto, Laissez-faire, laissez-passer. Although the physiocrats were not the first to use the expression laissez-faire to refer to free trade—previous writers, among them two French economists, Pierre Le Pesant Sieur de Boisguillebert and Marc-Pierre de Voyer de Paulmy, Comte d'Argenson, had used it as well—they were largely responsible for popularizing it.
    Protectionism and Unemployment, by Hans F. Sennholz, The Freeman, Mar 1985
    Discusses why foreign and domestic trade are both beneficial, mercantilism and neo-mercantilism, the groups wanting tariffs and protectionism, the effects of trade restrictions on labor, the factors affecting industry competitiveness and more
    [F]oreign trade is merely an extension of domestic trade, which is a corollary from the principles of division of labor ... If trade between the people in California, Texas, Florida and Maine is advantageous, it follows that free trade between people in Guatemala and Mexico, or Canada and Costa Rica may also be advantageous ... Trade barriers destroy more jobs than they create. And yet, ... most workers are convinced that they safeguard wage rates from the competition of low- cost labor ... There are few arguments in favor of protection that are more popular and yet so specious and fallacious.
    Pundit in Wonderland, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 28 Sep 2007
    Criticizes a Washington Post op-ed by columnist Harold Meyerson about the results of a survey showing an increase in those who consider themselves the "have-nots" of American society
    Stateless laissez faire would mean that people and goods could cross the borders unimpeded by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Does Meyerson think that happens now? If it were happening, people from south of the border desperate to get here in search of a better life wouldn't have to risk life to avoid detection, and unreadable multi-page trade agreements would be superfluous. But goods and people can't cross borders merely in response to people's wishes because government officials have arrogated the authority to say who and what may cross. Some laissez faire.
    The Reagan Record On Trade: Rhetoric Vs. Reality [PDF], by Sheldon Richman, Policy Analysis, 30 May 1988
    Analysis of Reagan's stance on free trade and protectionism, contrasting what he and those in his administration said with a lengthy list of actual quotas, tariffs and trade negotiation results
    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 or to their ... account with the seller. For example, almost everyone has "unreciprocated" trade with his grocer, druggist, and dry cleaner ... Consumers would be likewise unconcerned about the trade balance between Massachusetts and Wyoming ... But when people talk about world trade, they become protectionists. Suddenly it becomes important for trade to balance between aggregates such as "The United States" and "Japan."
    The Ricardian Law of Association, by Ludwig von Mises, Human Action, 1949
    Chapter 8 "Human Society", section 4; discusses how all people benefit when they cooperate with each other and how the division of labor results in greater productivity
    Ricardo's first aim in expounding this law was to refute an objection raised against freedom of international trade. The protectionist asks: What under free trade will be the fate of a country in which the conditions for any kind of production are less favorable than in all other countries? ... For the inhabitants of a country it is more advantageous to abstain from the exploitation of some opportunities which ... are more propitious and to import commodities produced abroad under conditions which—absolutely and technologically—are less favorable than the unused domestic resources.
    Richard Cobden: Activist for Peace, by Gary M. Galles, 19 Feb 2003
    Examines Cobden's arguments for trade liberalization, with extensive set of quotations
    Cobden saw that free trade was the key to material prosperity, as evidenced by England's economic growth and rise to world leadership in virtually all aspects of trade—finance, insurance, shipping, etc.—after the Corn Law repeal. But more than prosperity, Cobden emphasized the injustice of protectionism, by which one group used government power to harm all other groups, which, in contrast, showed the moral superiority of free trade. Further, [he] 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.
    Related Topic: Richard Cobden
    Richard Cobden's Triumphant Crusade for Free Trade and Peace, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Jun 1995
    Extensive biographical essay, including Cobden's relationship with John Bright as they campaigned for repeal of the Corn Laws, and his later peace activism
    Repeal of the corn laws was just the beginning of trade liberalization. During the next three decades, England reduced the number of dutiable imports from 1,152 to 48—remaining items were mostly luxury items with low duties. Although European countries retained their prohibitive tariffs, England prospered. Cheap food poured into the country, and workers shifted out of agriculture into manufacturing. Then as other countries industrialized, many workers shifted into services. England became the unquestioned leader of world shipping, commerce, insurance, and finance.
    The Sanctity of Private Property, Part 2, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Jan 1991
    Contrasts the attitudes of 20th century American citizens towards international trade and the oil business to citizens in communist countries, the former believing they live under a "private property" system which is not socialistic in nature
    Like his Cuban counterpart, no American is free to sell, without the permission of his public officials, what supposedly belongs to him to people around the world. If an American, for example, decides to sell a quantity of wheat or penicillin to the Cuban people, he is prohibited from doing so by his own politicians and bureaucrats. In fact, if an American even travels to Cuba without permission of his public officials, he is incarcerated and fined. This was exemplified last year when an American fisherman was actually sent to jail by American authorities for organizing a fishing trip to Cuba.
    Science, Reason, and Moral Progress, by Michael Shermer, Cato Policy Report, Jan 2015
    Argues that the progress made in the domain of morality in the past few centuries resulted primarily from the Scientific Revolution (Copernicus, Newton, etc.) and the Enlightment that followed it
    Thus, [Montesquieu] concluded, "we see that in countries where the people move only by the spirit of commerce, they make a traffic of all the humane, all the moral virtues." The trade theory of peace has held up well in modern empirical studies, and here we can draw the links from empirical science to moral values: if you agree that peace is better than war (the survival and flourishing of sentient beings is my moral starting point), then moral progress may be made through the application of the principle of free trade and open economic borders between nations.
    Related Topic: François Quesnay
    The Singular Henry George: Insights and Influence, by David S. D'Amato, 22 Oct 2014
    Discusses George's early life, the main arguments made in his writings and the influence and disagreements he had with contemporary and later radicals
    George's Protection or Free Trade compares the relative merits of two opposite positions on the exchange of goods between nations, offering a powerful argument in favor of economic freedom ... He opposed all attempts to coercively stop or impede trade, policies he treated as contrary to moral law and insulting to labor ... George also pointed out the knowledge problem ..., the incredible assumption that lawmakers—indeed anyone—could possess the "minute knowledge of all trade and industry" necessary to craft a law that would even roughly align with protectionists' stated goals.
    Substance, not style, by Daniel Koffler, 9 Feb 2008
    Contrasts several of presidential candidate Obama's 2008 issue positions with those of Hillary Clinton and argues his approach could be called left-libertarianism
    Whereas Clinton has recently taken to pulling protectionist stunts ..., Obama instinctively supports free trade and grasps the universe of possibilities that globalisation opens up, and seamlessly integrates it into his "audacity of hope" theme ... 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 ...
    A Summary View of the Rights of British America, by Thomas Jefferson, 1774
    Details, as a resolution to be adopted by a congress of deputies of the various states, complaints against the current and previous British kings and parliament, including laws or decrees limiting commerce, suspending state legislatures and many more
    That the exercise of a free trade with all parts of the world, possessed by the American colonists, as of natural right, and which no law of their own had taken away or abridged, was next the object of unjust encroachment ... [T]he parliament ... assumed upon themselves the power of prohibiting their trade with all other parts of the world, except the island of Great Britain ... Besides the duties they impose on our articles of export and import, they prohibit our going to any markets northward of ... Spain, for the sale of commodities which Great Britain will not take from us ...
    Teaching Basic Economics to Fifth Graders, by Arthur E. Foulkes, 21 Jun 2006
    Recounts the experience of teaching economics to fifth graders, one concept per week, for five weeks, focusing on trade, money, savings, competition and prices
    To illustrate trade, I gave each student a very small, inexpensive gift ... I ... then told the students they could trade their gifts ... with their immediate neighbors ... Then I opened the class up to unrestricted trade ... [T]hey 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 ... One student was happy with [a forced] exchange, the other unhappy. This allowed us to discuss the idea of a "fair" trade—which I defined as a trade where both parties voluntarily take part.
    Tear Down the Trade Walls, by Sheldon Richman, 22 Apr 2005
    Reflections on free trade sparked by Ukrainian president Yushchenko's remarks to the U.S. Congress asking them to remove trade restrictions that prevent Ukrainians from selling to Americans
    Most people think that when a country opens its market to foreign producers, this is a favor to them, a concession given in return for the opening of the foreign market ... We should open our market to benefit ourselves. This should be done unilaterally and unconditionally with this demand: Sell to us! ... [T]rade issues are simple. We produce so we can consume. Everyone knows that. Likewise, we sell so we can buy. National boundaries do not change that truth. Thus we export so we can import. And that means an open American market is, first, a benefit to American consumers.
    Related Topic: Ukraine
    That Mercantilist Commerce Clause, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 11 May 2007
    Reviews law professor Calvin H. Johnson's "The Panda's Thumb: The Modest and Mercantilist Original Meaning of the Commerce Clause", William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal, Vol 13, Issue 1, October 2004
    Here is Johnson's summary ...:
    In the original debates over adoption of the Constitution, regulation of commerce was used, almost exclusively, ... for specific mercantilist proposals ... The Constitution was written before Adam Smith, laissez faire and free trade came to dominate economic thinking ... All of the concrete programs intended to be forwarded by giving Congress the power to regulate commerce were restrictions on international trade giving subsidy or protection to favored domestic merchants or punishing imports or foreign producers. [Emphasis added.]
    Thomas Paine on Commerce, by Gary M. Galles, Mises Daily, 16 May 2003
    Selection of Thomas Paine quotes, from The Rights of Man, on trade, particularly between different nations and contrasted with war
    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. Thomas Paine recognized this, and the same devotion to liberty which helped inspire America's revolution against tyranny ... made him a defender of free trade. And as he pointed out, "the principle of all commerce is the same." That is just as true, and just as important, now.
    Related Topics: England, Thomas Paine, War
    Trade Restrictions Show Hypocrisy, by Sheldon Richman, 12 Sep 2003
    Discusses how U.S. and European agricultural tariffs and quotas, established at the behest of wealthy farmers in those countries, harm farmers in the developing world as well as others in the developed nations
    American consumers would love to buy low-priced clothing, shoes, and agricultural products from abroad. Producers in the developing world would love to sell them those things. But these exchanges never come to fruition. Why? Because the U.S. government forbids it. And why does it do that? Because domestic producers and farmers have the political pull ... [W]hy don't we hear [calls] for free trade—for the children? ... A defense of true globalization—unfettered free trade—cannot be made by hypocritical protectionist governments beholden to special interests. Free traders of the world unite.
    Related Topics: Brazil, Farming, Government
    The War of 1812 Was the Health of the State, Part 2, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 6 Mar 2015
    Discusses how James Madison's conduct of the War of 1812 led to changes in American attitudes, including mercantilism, militarism, imperialism and centralization
    [Robert] Kagan agrees: "the War of 1812 spurred the federal government to redouble efforts to open access to foreign markets." ... America would not promote free trade by unilaterally setting a good example, as libertarians call for today. Instead, the government would aggressively open foreign markets, particularly the colonial possessions of the European powers, threatening retaliation in the case of uncooperative regimes and displaying the military card rather prominently. But "free trade" soon gave way to mercantilism, that is, special-interest economic protectionism.
    We Need Real Free Trade Now, by Sheldon Richman, 4 Feb 2004
    Responds to an article by Paul Craig Roberts and Senator Charles Schumer arguing that free trade is no longer tenable due to outsourcing of jobs to Asian countries made possible by the "easy mobility of software and data"
    Nevertheless, Roberts has a point. Free trade often requires adjustment to new conditions. Perhaps this will be true of hitherto secure computer programmers and other knowledge workers, who may see their incomes fall. But keep in mind that, while nominal wages may fall, real wages may not. That's because free trade and the resulting increased productivity of labor and resources will translate into more and lower-priced goods and services. Don’t forget: The American firm in Roberts’s example now has $130,000 per laid-off worker to invest in new products and services.


    Claiming Paine: The contested legacy of the most controversial founding father, by Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason, Jul 2007
    Review of the book Thomas Paine and the Promise of America (2006) by Harvey J. Kaye
    Kaye's book is filled with anti-business rhetoric, but nowhere does it quote Paine inveighing against commerce. In fact, Paine seems to have held an early version of the McDonald's theory of democratic peace: the idea that trade is the ultimate pacific force, as evidenced by the scarcity of wars between any two nations where you can buy a Big Mac. "If commerce were permitted to act to the universal extent it is capable of, it would extirpate the system of war, and produce a revolution in the uncivilized state of governments," he wrote in Rights of Man.
    Book Review: Problemas Economicos de Mexico, by Richard M. Ebeling, Freedom Daily, Jan 1999
    Review of Problemas Económicos de México (1998), translation of the 1943 English monograph "Mexico's Economic Problems" by Ludwig von Mises
    A policy of free trade was essential to [Mexico]'s future. [Mises] emphasized that the benefit from trade came from the imports obtainable at prices less costly than alternative domestic production ... Under the import-substitution approach, industrialization was to be forced through trade restrictions and high tariff barriers behind which domestic industries would be stimulated at artificially high prices far above those in the general global market. Mises pointed out that countries implementing such policies inevitably make their own people poorer and less productive.
    Related Topics: Mexico, Ludwig von Mises


    September 11 and the Anti-Capitalistic Mentality: An Interview with Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., for, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Myles Kantor, FrontPage Magazine, 12 Mar 2002
    Discusses the insights of Mises' The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality particularly with regard to the attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 Sep 2001
    Rockwell: ... As for restrictions on trade, those who support ongoing sanctions against Iraq and other countries need to consider that these policies violate free trade, and give rise to hatreds that can fuel terrorism ... [P]eople from groups like the Institute of International Economics had raised serious questions about the effects of these sanctions ... [T]his is a region rich with oil profits made possible in part by domestic restrictions on energy production. This is why a policy of free trade with all peoples of the world needs to be matched by loosened energy regulations at home.


    The Case for Free Trade and Open Immigration
        by Richard Ebeling (editor), Jacob G. Hornberger (editor), The Future of Freedom Foundation, 1995
    Collection of essays by Ebeling, Hornberger, Samuel Bostaph, Jim Bovard, W.M. Curtiss, Bettina Bien Greaves, William M. Law, Ludwig von Mises, Leonard Read, Lawrence W. Reed, Gregory F. Rehmke, Sheldon Richman and Ron K. Unz


    Classics of Liberty, Ep. 5: Richard Cobden: On Free Trade, by Caleb Brown, 12 Sep 2015
    Short biographical introduction to Cobden followed by selections from his writings on free trade
    Related Topic: Richard Cobden
    Free Trade vs. Protectionism, by Don Boudreaux, 31 Aug 2011
    Defines free trade and protectionism, the use of tariffs to implement the latter, and gives Hong Kong and the United States as examples of the benefits of free trade
    Free trade is simply a policy of treating foreign goods and services no differently than domestic goods and services are treated. Free trade is a policy of allowing domestic consumers to buy from abroad just as freely as they can buy at home. Protectionism is a policy of discriminating against foreign goods and services, a policy of saying to domestic consumers, "If you want to buy foreign-made goods and services, you have to jump through some extra large hurdles to buy those goods and services." ... Free trade is not just a theory; it's been practiced. The greatest example is Hong Kong.

    The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Free trade" as of 11 Jan 2023, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.