• Allgemein

What Agreements Helped Launch The Free Trade Movement

Since the beginning of the 19th century, trade has been a divisive issue in American politics – and the dividing line has fallen quite well between slaves and non-slave states. Northern producers have called for high tariff protection on competing imports; Southern cotton producers have supported an open trade policy to promote their exports. The president`s negotiating power was initially limited to bilateral agreements with foreign nations. But after World War II, amid the desire to integrate and rebuild the post-war economy, the United States led the creation of the General Multilateral Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, known as GATT. Under their aegis, the major nations of world trade have concluded a series of „cycles“ aimed at further reducing trade barriers. The most prominent of these were the Kennedy Round (1963-67), the Tokyo Round (1973-79) and the Uruguay Round (1986-94). Under certain conditions, productivity gains in a country can deteriorate its terms of trade. For example, if Japanese television manufacturers become more efficient and reduce selling prices, Japanese commercial conditions will deteriorate as more TVs are needed to exchange for aircraft. The creation of trade benefits exporters in the trade bloc, which has a comparative advantage in the manufacture of a product, and benefits the importer`s consumers, who can now purchase the product at a lower price. Domestic producers that compete with cheaper imports from their partner countries lose, but their loss is less than the profits for exporters and consumers. The creation of trade promotes global well-being through greater efficiency.

A country can also adopt a beggar-thy-neighbor attitude by deliberately using the terms of trade in its favour by introducing an optimal tariff or manipulating currencies. In his economics manual, Dominick Salvatore defines an optimal tariff, since in the 17th and 18th centuries, the dominant demo is that a prosperous nation should export more than it imports and that the trade surplus should be used to expand the nation`s treasury, especially gold and silver. This would allow the country to have a larger and more powerful army and navy and more colonies. Geza Feketukuty, the leading U.S. negotiator for services in the Uruguay Round, gives a wonderful anecdote about the early efforts to start negotiations on trade in services: „The Swiss delegate . . . trade in services by pointing out how impossible it was for him to have his hair cut in another country by a hairdresser.

The chairman of the committee. . he replied that every woman in Germany had benefited enormously from French exports of hairdressing services, and she was convinced that the delegate`s wife would confirm that this was the case in Switzerland. [23] Below, you can see a map of the world with the biggest trade agreements in 2018. Pass the cursor over each country for a rounded breakdown of imports, exports and balances. What resulted in exports growing faster than production, is that companies have evolved from domestic development to a multinational, and now many have developed to a global development. The first six GATT trade negotiations had reduced tariffs in industrialized countries to less than half that level by the end of the Kennedy round in 1967, down from an average of 40% after the Second World War. In addition, international communications and transportation had improved considerably (the first commercial jet crossed the Atlantic in 1958 and the first commercial telecommunications satellite was launched in 1965.

Access to other markets plays an important role in this business model, where comparative advantages can be created.