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Analyzing Trade Restrictions

Lists three arguments for trade restrictions. Since economists do not favor trade restrictions, make the case as an economist against trade restrictions for these three items. Are there any arguments for trade restrictions that most economists would support? Discuss.

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Trade restrictions come in many forms, shapes, and sizes, and this must be taken into account when considering the arguments for and against restrictions.

A prominent argument for trade restrictions refers to public health and safety issues; these are mainly classified under "sanitary and phyto-sanitary" standards (as allowed by the WTO). That is, a country can institute a restrictive set of conditions for food and other organic materials coming into the country if it is possible that they will pose a threat to the country's residents. This can be seen in fragile ecosystems such as island countries (the UK, Australia, and New Zealand have strict quarantine and prohibitions on living matter), where outside pathogens could be introduced with terrible consequences. On a more mundane level, all countries hold some form of SPS standards in order to not admit dangerous goods. In practice, however, these SPS restrictions have been used to cover more than merely public health, being protectionism in another form (a good example of this is Russia's ban of Georgian wine, on the grounds of safety and protection against counterfeits - this ...

Solution Summary

Three arguments for trade restrictions are discussed, as is the case as an economist against trade restrictions for these three items.