Is free trade fair? Discuss
Unions in developed nations often oppose imports from low-wage countries and advocate trade barriers to protect jobs from what they often characterize as “unfair” import competition. Is such competition “unfair”? Do you think that this argument is in the best interests of (a) the unions, (b) the people they represent, and/or (c) the country as a whole?
Whose interests should be the paramount concern of government trade policy: the interests of producers (businesses and their employees) or those of consumers?
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Do you think governments should consider human rights when granting preferential trading rights to countries? What are the arguments for and against taking such a position?
You are an employee of a U.S. firm that produces personal computers in Thailand and then exports them to the United States and other countries for sale. The personal computers were originally produced in Thailand to take advantage of relatively low labor costs and a skilled workforce. Other possible locations considered at the time were Malaysia and Hong Kong. The U.S. government decides to impose punitive 100 percent ad valorem tariffs on imports of computers from Thailand to punish the country for administrative trade barriers restricting U.S. exports to Thailand. How should your firm respond? What does this tell you about the use of targeted trade barriers?