Arguments Against International Trade

In this video, we discuss some of the most common arguments against international trade. Does trade harm workers by reducing the number of jobs in the U.S.? Is it

In this video, we discuss some of the most common arguments against international trade. Does trade harm workers by reducing the number of jobs in the U.S.? Is it wrong to trade with countries that use child labor? Is it important to keep a certain number of jobs at home for national security reasons? Can strategic protectionism increase well-being in the U.S.? Join us as we discuss these common concerns.

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Show 1 Answer (Answer provided by Alex Tabarrok)
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Actually the evidence is that free trade reduces war. See The Invisible Hand of Peace. http://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Hand-Peace-Capitalism-International/dp/0...

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Show 1 Answer (Answer provided by Alex Tabarrok)
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The economics profession is very open to competition from abroad--there are very few barriers, for example, to hire an Econ PhD from anywhere in the world and most departments have lots of foreign born PhDs on staff. Thus, competition from abroad for American economists has been very high. In essence, there is free trade in Econ PhDs. Whether this has hurt American PhDs I don't know but it has probably pushed wages down.

Most jobs today are in the service sector and it is here that American low skill workers can outcompete foreign low skill workers. It is, of course, true that low skill workers everywhere tend to earn low wages.

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Low-skilled workers will always be needed. Welding is a high skilled job that is not easy to learn. I found it difficult. I teach agriculture, economics, and answer questions about taxes. That is my comparative advantage. Some welders are very highly paid. I cannot tell you about sewing. Some do not benefit as much from education. You are correct However, rich and poor alike benefit form the lower prices of goods because of competition. A person with below average intelligence may not be able to do anything as well as you do. However, it still benefits you to trade with that person because of comparative advantage. As you get better in what you have the greatest comparative advantage, the value of the less-skilled worker's comparative advantage increases. You do not want to work in the area where the low-skilled worker does. The opportunity cost of your labor is too high. Therefore, you will be willing to pay more for the product of the low-skilled worker's labor. When your skills increase, both you and the low-skilled worker are better off.

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