Trade Policy

Topics: International trade, Free trade, Tariff Pages: 21 (7334 words) Published: February 5, 2013
Trade Policy
* Introduction * Definition * Types * Arguments for Free trade * Arguments against Free trade * Arguments for Protectionism * Arguments against Protectionism * Free Trade versus Protectionism * Conclusion * Bibliography| |

Trade policy is a collection of rules and regulations which pertain to trade. Every nation has some form of trade policy in place, with public officials formulating the policy which they think would be most appropriate for their country. The purpose of trade policy is to help a nation's international trade run more smoothly, by setting clear standards and goals which can be understood by potential trading partners. In many regions, groups of nations work together to create mutually beneficial trade policies. Things like import and export taxes, tariffs, inspection regulations, and quotas can all be part of a nation's trade policy. Some nations attempt to protect their local industries with trade policies which place a heavy burden on importers, allowing domestic producers of goods and services to get ahead in the market with lower prices or more availability. Others eschew trade barriers, promoting free trade, in which domestic producers are given no special treatment, and international producers are free to bring in their products. Safety is sometimes an issue in trade policy. Different nations have different regulations about product safety, and when goods are imported into a country with stiff standards, representatives of that nation may demand the right to inspect the goods, to confirm that they conform with the product safety standards which have been laid out. Security is also an issue, with nations wanting to protect themselves from potential threats while maintaining good foreign relations with frequent trading partners.

“Trade Policy is a government policy that directly influences the quantity of goods and services that a country imports or exports. Most countries have some form of trade barriers that hinder free trade. A trade restriction or trade barrier is a means of preventing a foreign product or service from freely entering a nation’s territory.”

Trade policy may be characterized as either free trade policy(or an outward looking policy) or a restricted trade policy (or inward looking policy). The further description of these types is given below:

1. Free Trade Policy
Free trade is a policy by which a government does not discriminate against imports or interfere with exports by applying tariffs (to imports) or subsidies (to exports) or quotas. According to the law of comparative advantage, the policy permits trading partners mutual gains from trade of goods and services. Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from those that would emerge under deregulation. These governed prices are the result of government intervention in the market through price adjustments or supply restrictions, including protectionist policies. Such government interventions can increase as well as decrease the cost of goods and services to both consumers and producers. Since the mid-20th century, nations have increasingly reduced tariff barriers and currency restrictions on international trade. Other barriers, however, that may be equally effective in hindering trade include import quotas, taxes, and diverse means of subsidizing domestic industries. Interventions include subsidies, taxes and tariffs, non-tariff barriers, such as regulatory legislation and import quotas, and even inter-government managed trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) (contrary to their formal titles) and any...
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