free trade

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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 ?
Bogota's free traders - the brokers who for years argued that Colombia lost more than it gained from the ICA - are today understandably jubilant.
i) Free traders, and the WTO in fact, argue that if trade can be automatically and unilaterally suspended by a contracting party on moral grounds, then trade could fall into chaos because morality is subjective and it can be indulged without constraint (e.
And so the leftist contention that free traders care more about multinational corporations than about workers and Mother Nature will gain plausibility.
The congressional debate on CAFTA has all the hallmarks of a NAFTA Round II debate with the traditional face-off between protectionists and free traders.
The EU and NAFTA are the world's largest trading blocs and the world's biggest free traders.
The arguments of free traders are ignored in the discussion of early America, as they generally are throughout the book.
Those problems caused some free traders to decide that defeating those agreements would benefit the cause of free trade.
government panders to shoddy pork barrel politics and makes a mockery of their claim to be free traders.
And he insisted: 'The British are the best and the most honest free traders in the world.
The movement has always aroused suspicion on the right, where free traders object to its price floors and anti-globalization rhetoric.
In truth, the free traders control the moral high ground: with at least a billion people still living in poverty, what greater moral imperative do we have than to reduce that number?
Free traders often attempt to characterize the anti-globalization movement as "anti-Third World.