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Discussion Starter #1
I am in an economics course and writing an essay on why there shouldn't be free trade. Anyone want to chime in with their input?
I am taking the stance that we shouldn't outsource

-lost jobs, lower wages, competition, rich companies get richer etc.



Any help would be tight.
 

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Inability to sell products overseas, limited market potential within our own borders, unions driving the cost of products up making them unaffordable to the people making them...

oh wait you wanted arguments against free trade. Sorry.
 

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Probably your biggest argument could be
__ The adjustment of the factor inputs that occurs under free-trade is most-assuredly painful to factor owners (labor, capital owners, etc.).
- Look at NAFTA and the Free Trade Adjustment Act (I'm sure I'm mis-naming this program that is supposed to help people "re-train" after losing a job to NAFTA). Too many people have not been able to get help from this program because of the bureaucratic hardships, chiefly by not being able to "prove" NAFTA was the reason for their job loss.
- In any such adjustment, there will be inefficient transformation as K and L are re-apportioned.
-- e.g., a machine used in a steel mill can only be used to make steel, so it is wasted to a great extent during such transition; also, "discouraged workers".
- Some aspects of specialization associated with free trade may be socially unpalatable, such as the possibility of child labor.
- Standards: Theory says free trade is good given the assumption of homogeneous goods. Homogeneity is far from practicable these days without standards. Examine the EU and its E-Code structure for evidence. Which gets us to...
- Health: Mexico is better at producing tomatoes than the USA, but there was a controversy shortly after NAFTA started that saw sewage running through Mexican tomato fields. How are all import markets to know the products they import are up to the same health standards they were originally used to? (counter arg: health scares occur everywhere, such as Mad Cow, Avian Flu, etc.)

You should also give a "second best", which would most likely be "fair trade".
 

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One more thing is about factor mobility.

For Free Trade to work, employee migration needs to be unhindered as much as possible. How politically viable is such an arrangement? For instance, has L-mobility been affected by 9/11?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
DC Dave, thanks a lot. I used fair trade and how minimum standards for employment are needed as well as conditions for production-liveable wages and human rights. Thanks alot. BTW, I was born in D.C., grew up on Wayne Ave before moving up here to Maine.
 

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he he, I kinda got carried away there, even though I'm a "free trader" :lol:

hth
 
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