free trade


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Related to free trade: Free trade zone

Free Trade

The state in which there are few or no tariffs or other trade barriers discouraging international trade. For example, a country with a free trade policy does not subsidize favored industries in order to make them less expensive compared to international competitors. Proponents of free trade argue that it is more economically efficient and helps consumers by promoting competition to keep prices low. Critics contend that free trade is detrimental to local jobs, especially in the developed world.

free trade

the EXPORT and IMPORT of goods and services between countries totally unhindered by restrictions such as TARIFFS and QUOTAS. In general, free trade leads to a higher level of economic welfare in so far as it favours the location of economic activities in those countries best suited to their production, resulting, through the trade mechanism, in worldwide consumption gains in the form of lower prices and greater product availability. See INTERNATIONAL TRADE, TRADE INTEGRATION, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION.

free trade

the INTERNATIONAL TRADE that takes place without barriers, such as TARIFFS, QUOTAS and FOREIGN EXCHANGE CONTROLS, being placed on the free movement of goods and services between countries. The aim of free trade is to secure the benefits of international SPECIALIZATION. Free trade as a policy objective of the international community has been fostered both generally by the WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION and on a more limited regional basis by the establishment of various FREE TRADE AREAS, CUSTOM UNIONS and COMMON MARKETS.

See GAINS FROM TRADE, EUROPEAN UNION, EUROPEAN FREE TRADE ASSOCIATION, TRADE INTEGRATION.

References in periodicals archive ?
Take the North American Free Trade Agreement's complex rules of origin, which detail how much "North American" content automobiles must have to cross borders tariff free.
Canada Free Trade Agreement arbitration panel allowing the inclusion of interest expense as content was welcome.
More information on the Free Trade Agreements is available at the following link http://www.
76% in cargo volume, clearly making the free trade zone one of Taiwan's major storages of oil and petroleum materials.
Lawmakers are also set to approve a free trade agreement with Columbia.
He said negotiations with 12 potential free trade partner countries were going on, noting that the agreements envisaged full free trade in industrial products but preferential tariff schemes for agricultural products.
There are three pending free trade agreements sitting on the shelf in Washington waiting congressional ratification.
President Bush's promotion of an APEC Free Trade Area is in harmony with his all-out support for the Central American Free Trade Area (CAFTA), passed by Congress in 2005, his current deep involvement in developing a North American Union modeled after the European Union through our nation's participation in the Security and Prosperity Partnership and his support for a Free Trade Area of the Americas, also modeled after the EU.
The possibility of establishing a TAFTA had been pondered intermittently in Europe in the past, above all during the heydays of free trade during the 1970s and 1980s.
Incorporates increased thresholds for application of the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement and the Free Trade Agreements, as determined by the United States Trade Representative; implements a new Free Trade Agreement with Morocco; and amends the list of end products that are subject to trade agreements.
Bear with us here, but in early August an Extraordinary Challenge Committee (ECC) of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ruled that a previous ruling in Canada's favour did not violate NAFTA rules per Washington's allegations.
A few words of unsolicited advice to Congress and the president, who appear bent on approving a Central America Free Trade Agreement to go along with the North American one best known as NAFTA: Please go slowly.