George Grantham, a professor of economics at McGill University, used examples from manorial England to show that the Ricardian concept of comparative advantage through free trade was not applicable during the pre-industrial period. According to the author, the English economy was characterized by wide fluctuations in output and lack of diminishing returns to capital (land) and labor. He stated that technology had not evolved to improve productivity. As a result, the gains from farming, herding, and other economic enterprise varied greatly depending upon weather, disease, and other factors. In many instances, people were geographically dispersed, so the concept of congestion of capital didn't apply. Additionally, the market for goods wasn't developed because of the lack of clear transportation/trade routes.
[...] To make her arguments more palatable to free trade skeptics, she has to provide stronger quantitative evidence of the benefits of eliminating trade restrictions. Additionally, variations in access to resources, culture, geography, and infrastructure have to be considered when discussing and analyzing the impact of trade liberalization on different nations, and the time it takes to realize any gains. Palmeter, David. (2005). A note on the ethics of free trade. World Trade Review, 449-467. David Palmeter, legal counsel and advisor to entities involved with the World Trade Organization drafted an essay designed to provide theoretical evidence that free trade was both a sound economic and ethical policy for governments to implement. [...]
[...] As the world's largest consumer market, America has been a large proponent of free trade - there is a constant demand for goods and services. I believe that America's long term economic prosperity is the direct result of increased productivity from technology, not necessarily the reduction of trade barriers because the nation has always engaged in high levels of trade. In 1994, America enacted a free trade agreement with Mexico and Canada called NAFTA. The nation also enjoyed a huge economic boom in the 1990s. [...]
[...] Following her discussion of free trade opposition, Krueger provided supporting evidence for her debate that free trade was beneficial. Again, she referred to the effect of the Corn Laws, noting that in 1846 England's ten poorest counties were exclusively agricultural higher corn pries has not benefited workers or the community. She also shared several recent examples of gains from free trade. One was rapid growth of the world economy after 1945 due to increase in trade, with exports increasing from of world GDP to 19% in 2002. [...]
[...] His primary goals were to not only provide historical evidence of the benefits of trade liberalization, but to insure that discussion of free trade remained at the forefront of political and economic agendas. He began the first part with a discussion of early foreign trade doctrines, from Roman and Greek philosophers such as Horace and Aristotle to 17th century mercantilists, who argued against free trade initially because of mistrust of commerce and later to protect exports. This section ended with Adam Smith's A Wealth of Nations, which provided the first strong argument for free trade despite prevailing beliefs in tariffs on imports. [...]
[...] Again, the speaker was an eloquent free trade advocate, but she “waxed poetic” more than she presents hard core evidence. For example, she stated, Proper assessments of the benefits [of free trade] are missing; yet the costs imposed by protection are substantial . Krueger provides a great deal of theory to substantiate her beliefs, but limited quantitative details. Lastly, Krueger gains considerable professional benefits if she is able to convince nations of the benefits of free trade. As a managing director for the IMF, she promotes the interests of her employer. [...]
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