Free trade is an agreement signed by countries to cooperate and function freely in trading economically. Individual duties and tariffs are determined, and trade barriers are minimized to provide free movement of goods and products, including imports and exports, through member borders without restrictions. In the United States, regional trade agreements have fueled economic growth and ensured enough surplus of raw materials from foreign countries, improving the production of goods and services for the US people. Free trade has enhanced access to high-quality goods at low prices, ensuring high living standards and affordable products and services for Americans.
International trade allows countries to produce goods and services they are best in, utilizing the economies of scale. Goods from various member nations are produced in large quantities for world consumption. As a result, individual countries have the best possible items at lower costs to remain competitive and open market opportunities for newly produced items (Nguyen 265). For instance, if a country majorly produces coffee and other nations produce similar products, the competition to make the best product leads to low costs while quality is maintained. Therefore, Free trade ensures Americans access to high-quality goods at lower prices.
The raw materials imported from foreign member countries to the United States are processed for finished goods and transported to the market at higher prices than natural materials. The larger number of US imports are inputs for American production companies that contribute to economic growth from the income generated from sales of finished products. Foreign investments and market expansion result from the free trade agreement, which has motivated nations to become global competitors and act as driving forces for others (Ongan, et al. 324). The US currently has trade unions across the globe and established trade centers among member states, increasing job opportunities for Americans in foreign countries and avoiding domestic job competition in local areas.
Free trade provides a platform for efficiency and innovation for local employees. Global industries tend to have more experience producing a particular product than local companies. When these industries are allowed to collaborate with local firms to produce similar products, they create impressive and high-quality goods, showing local employees strategies to implement during the production process (Alexander and Elmore 14). As a result, local employees gain extensive knowledge and skills in producing similar products to the market. Additionally, these products are utilized within the country, ensuring increased living standards and access to quality goods and services. Consequently, global industries provide local industries with ways to increase production efficiency and a platform for innovation for Americans.
However, imported free good poses an obstacle to developing new domestic industries because they depend on local strategies to foster the production of goods and services. Protected tax breaks and tariffs provide revenue for domestic industries, and without them, domestic production growth of newly established industries is limited (Mittal and Sugandh 542). Consequently, tariffs are a source of government revenue used to fund local industrial development. Additionally, if an entrepreneur wants to venture into a market consisting of foreign industries that have taken advantage of economies of scale, it would be difficult and a barrier to launching the business. Therefore, leading foreign companies’ ability to sell similar products and services makes it difficult for local production industries to develop and gain a competitive advantage in the global market.
Most economists argue that workers who have lost their jobs due to the availability of cheap foreign raw materials than domestically manufactured goods can shift to other fields. The adjustments require a long period to take effect. For instance, farmers cannot instantly adjust to technological experts. Still, they can take a specific period to learn new skills required in the digital world to function effectively. Loss of jobs happens when an industry does not require more labor to perform due to the availability of an effective alternative way. Additionally, in the United States, people from foreign countries work under minimum wages than local employees, giving business owners an alternative strategy to employ foreign workers.
When it comes to disagreement due to political issues among member countries of free trade agreements, a country can be denied access to the free movement of goods and services. Political pressure between two countries may result in trade warfare aiming to expand the agreement to other states to maintain its strategic position. For instance, Russia threatened to remove its trade agreement with Ukraine and start imposing tariffs on its goods, which led to wars (Nekhay et al. 1267). As a result, many innocent people have died, and business infrastructures have been destroyed, hindering Ukraine’s economic growth. Therefore, free trade fosters increased vulnerability if a country is denied access to products.
In conclusion, the best strategy to reduce trade barriers is to encourage countries to sign regional trading agreements, which ensures countries can transport their goods and services across the nation’s borders and its members. Non-member countries that trade with member nations should abide by external policies guiding their trade operations. With a regional trade agreement treaty, more job opportunities are generated, increasing employment opportunities for Americans and those individuals from member states. Additionally, the agreement encourages market expansion for American goods and protects investors from political risks that affect access to goods and services. As a result, enhanced access to new markets increases competition among businesses, compelling the production of high-quality goods and services, leading to more customer satisfaction.
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Mittal, Sugandh. “International trade barriers.” International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews 5.4 (2018): 541-547. Web.
Nekhay, Olexandr, M. Carmen Delgado, and M. Alejandro Cardenete. “Does Abolishing Tariffs in Bilateral Trade Matter for a Country’s Economic Growth? The Impact of the EU–Ukraine DCFTA.” Europe-Asia Studies 73.7 (2021): 1257-1278. Web.
Nguyen, Duc Bao. “A New Examination Of The Impacts Of Regional Trade Agreements On International Trade Patterns.” Journal Of Economic Integration, vol 34, no. 2, 2019, pp. 236-279. Center For Economic Integration, Web.
Ongan, Serdar, and Ismet Gocer. “The Causal Relationships Between International Trade And International Tourism In NAFTA Countries: Applications Of Time And Frequency Domain Approaches.” The International Trade Journal, vol 34, no. 3, 2019, pp. 319-338. Informa UK Limited, Web.