Trade, Economic Growth and Job Creation
The gains from specialization and trade are based on comparative advantages, which reflect the relative opportunity costs of production. When countries specialize in producing goods and services for which they have comparative advantages, total production in the global economy rises. Trade advocates argue that this increase in the size of the economic pie can be used to make all trading countries better off through international trade. Economists also use the principle of comparative advantage to advocate free trade among countries as a better policy.
Based on the above summary and the detailed descriptions of the international trade issues in the textbook (Chapter 38) discuss the following questions.
- Does free trade contribute to the improvement of economic well-being? How does trade stimulate long-term economic growth? Explain.
- Who gains and losses from free trade among countries, and how do the gains compare to the losses? Explain using examples.
- Do you think the U.S. export and import of goods and services are based on the principle of a comparative advantage of trade? Explain.
- Why do countries impose trade restrictions on goods and services they import from other countries? What are the pros and cons of trade protectionism?
- What is the impact of free trade on domestic job creation policy? Elaborate with examples.