Talk:Free trade

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Conflicts in Article[edit]

For example, the section here has two subseciton,s advantages and disadvantages of tariffs. These two sections seem to contradict each other. From advantages: "In this case, the higher price would not cause domestic production to increase from QS1 to QS2, since it has already been assumed in our example that Japan produces the same amount of widgets for price Ptariff as the world economy does for price Pworld." The from disadvantages: "The higher price causes domestic production to increase from QS1 to QS2 and causes domestic consumption to decline from QC1 to QC2." Since both sections are directly referring to the chart at right, this is very confusing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.71.29.40 (talk) 18:21, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Also, "The economic theory of David Ricardo" does not appear to belong in the Opposition portion of the article.--Ski67dOO (talk) 03:39, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Dispute tag on "trade diversion"[edit]

Why the dispute tag? Is there a source that says otherwise? bobrayner (talk) 18:15, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

I put the dispute section because the paragraph is based on the assumption that "free trade benefits society". I checked the link to which this statement is made and nowhere in the "mainstream economics" wiki page does it say this. Demosfoni (talk) 05:17, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I think it's definitely the mainstream economics consensus that free trade benefits society, at least on a macro level (and that's mentioned and referenced at other parts within the free trade article). However, that wasn't the point of the paragraph as I saw it, the point being to explain the trade diversion effects of some free trade agreements. So, how about we amend the paragraph to merely state:
"According to mainstream economic theory, global free trade is a net benefit to society, but the selective application of free trade agreements to some countries and tariffs on others can sometimes lead to economic inefficiency through the process of trade diversion. It is economically efficient for a good to be produced by the country which is the lowest cost producer, but this..."
Would this meet everyone's approval?--TurquoiseThreads (talk) 05:35, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Looks good. I would only ask that we omit the "sometimes" too. "Can" is already conditional, we don't need a second conditional. :-) bobrayner (talk) 10:20, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Having sound knowledge about this matter, I agree with the proposed amendment, and will go ahead and make the change. Ratibgreat (talk) 12:31, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Deletion of the views/research of Sonali Deraniyagala and Ben Fine[edit]

I've gone ahead and done this, but I can see it being contentious, so thought I would outline my thinking here. The section used to read:

"In an assessment of the literature on the theory and empirical research relating to the benefits of free trade, Sonali Deraniyagala and Ben Fine found that much of the work was flawed, and concluded that the extent to which free trade benefits economic development is unknown.[1] Theoretical arguments are largely dependent upon specific empirical assumptions which may or may not hold true. In the empirical literature, many studies suggest the relationship is ambiguous, and the data and econometrics underlying a set of empirical papers showing positive results have been critiqued. The best of these papers use a simplified model, and the worst involve the regression of an index of economic performance on an index of openness to trade, with a mix of these two approaches common. In some cases, Deraniyagala and Fine claim, these indexes of openness actually reflect trade volume rather than policy orientation. They also observe that it is difficult to disentangle the effects of reverse causality and numerous exogenous variables."

My thinking was firstly that it was a view of dissenting economists to the mainstream, and given it was in the 'views of economists' section, it made sense to include the minority view as well. However, for several reasons, I don't think this particular paragraph is the best way to do so. Firstly, the reference given is to a book, not a peer-reviewed article. Given that it claims most econometrics on this issue of being wrong or misleading, I'd suggest a journal article, or at least views given by a more well-known economist, might be more appropriate. Secondly, the section at present does not include the individual research of any one economist. This makes sense, as if we were to just allow it to become a collection of different studies, it would become clunky and confusing to the casual reader. Far better to speak in broad terms about the views of broad sections of the profession, rather than one particular study. And thirdly, I'm a little suspicious of the fact that the first thing mentioned could be leveled at any economic modelling, or indeed any modelling at all (find me a model that doesn't use 'specific empirical assumptions'). Some of the other objections to current empirical research seem more reasonable (just - I mean, of course modelling is difficult, that's not really a criticism of it), but the way the section is written doesn't really do them justice. In my view, we need to find a reputable peer-reviewed source outlining the reasons 7% or whatever percent it was of economists don't believe free trade raises living standards, and not make poorly-backed claims about two economists 'finding' that the work of most other economists is flawed. --TurquoiseThreads (talk) 13:13, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

The United States and free trade[edit]

Article II of the 1833 Siamese-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce is a free-trade clause; Articles IV and X contain most favored nation clauses. --Pawyilee (talk) 12:04, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

  1. ^ Fine, Ben. (2006). The New Development Economics: After Washington Consensus, pp. 46-50. Zed Books.