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A good book about trade

  1. Oct 29, 2005 #1
    Has anyone read "from free trade to forced trade" by Peter Urmetzer? I just finished reading it. It was a bit of an eye opener - it describes free trade as a neutral activity - not good or bad. Great book
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 1, 2005 #2
    Can you give some of the major points on why the author thinks this way?
  4. Dec 1, 2005 #3
    I'm guessing the author is basically arguing for free trade based on the concept of comparative advantage. For example say you are a lawyer and have no secretary. You have the ability to type well, organize your schedule, etc. But wouldn't you be better off if you highered a secretary anyway? If you highered a secretary, you have more time and energy etc. to focus on being a better lawyer. This is sort of what comparative advantage is. Free trade supposedly allows everyone to be better off by allowing some countries (like the US) to focus being more efficient in certain industries, while allowing other countries to gain from exporting goods to that country (although that country could make those goods it imports). In the end, free trade should result in lower prices for everyone while increasing efficiency in certain industries and allowing other countries (poorer possibly) to benefit. There are some draw back such as certain industries not becoming efficient enough with their foreign counterparts resulting in lost jobs etc. (such as the US steel industry). This is why the author may be claiming trade as a neutral. It has its gains and drawbacks.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2005
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