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A scholar or other person who favors government policy or regulation restricting international trade. Examples of policies supported by protectionists include import quotas, which set a maximum number of imports for a certain good over a given period of time, and import substitution, in which the state subsidizes businesses and industries to make domestic goods less expensive. By far the most common example of protectionism, however, is the tariff, which is a tax on imports. Protectionists argue that protectionism encourages domestic production of goods and helps working class people, while critics contend that it hurts the people it aims to help by discouraging competition, which may drive down prices. The balance of protectionism and free trade is a controversial topic regarding the government's role in international trade. See also: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
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