The Pros And Cons Of Free Trade

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Proponents of free trade often say that free trade is beneficial for any nation-state for a very simple reason. It allows workers to specialize in goods and services that they produce more efficiently than the rest of the world and then exchange them for goods and services that other countries produce at higher quality and lower cost. Indeed, free trade has been the source of prosperity in many countries over the past decade. However, in recent times, the issue of whether free trade is beneficial or not has once again reared its head and became a hotly debated subject, largely in the context of developed economies such as the United States of America (US) which saw thousands of workers lose their jobs as the economy failed to restructure speedily. In this essay, we will be exploring this issue using case studies of developed economies, the US and the United Kingdom (UK). We will also examine the preconditions necessary for free trade to bring about prosperity for a nation.

Before we plunge into our thesis proper, it is useful to talk about the differing characteristics of a developed versus a developing nation. A developed nation is typically one that has gone through a significant phase of industrialisation with workers that are more educated and who demand a higher standard of living. Workers in developed economies often demand higher wages as they are generally better skilled. In these economies, advancement of technology is often prevalent and this drives

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