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PO329 Study Guide - Multilateral Trade Negotiations, World Trade Organization, Jagdish Bhagwati

Political Science
Course Code

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Cody Stout
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
PO 329
Patricia Goff
The controversy over Free Trade: The Gap between economists and the General Public

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The addition of more free trade has been a topic of discussion throughout
Economists and also in public debate. The majority of Economists strongly support free
trade policies while the public opinion is in more of a shaky state. The Main topic of
discussion in the article is the examination of the ‘whys’ of this particular gap in views
between the Economists and the Public in the United States. Through three main themes
the information is separated in. The first discusses why most economists support free
trade policies. The second question is why free trade is controversial. The question
focuses around the issues of two sub groups. These sub groups include labor and
agricultural. The last are suggestions for increasing the support for free trade. Through
these discussions of the themes, the writer hopes to educate the reader in a way that will
make the reader acknowledge the beneficial factors and consequences of free trade and
possible ideas that may be relevant to upgrading the success of the political debate.
To cover the first theme the relevant literature used included Mayda and Rodrick
(2001,p.1). The writing titled, ‘Why are some people (and countries) more protectionist
than others?’ This writing noted that research has shown that mainstream economists
favour free trade. The second writing used is David Ricardo’s principles of Political
Economy and Taxation. This writing accentuates how, “The different relative prices
provide the basis for both the countries to gain from international trade. “ (Coughlin,
2002:2) The gains from both the new exchanges and specialization in a product, where
there is a comparative advantage, are the benefits of free trade. The use of the
Heckscher-ohlin model of international trade in discussion shows that countries differ in
their amounts of (labor, capital, natural resources). Secondly the Heckscher-Ohlin model
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