[Short essay] Do the benefits of free trade outweigh the disadvantages?

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Mar 22, 2019 12:55
There have been a lot of discussions and debates about the effects of free trade on the economy. I strongly believe that its disadvantages outweigh its advantages. Following are the arguments to support my opinion.

Firstly, free trade often creates too severe business competition that could lead to negative impacts on working conditions in developing nations. For example, in order to win the business by cost reduction, local workers are often not paid fairly and exploited. In many developing countries, strict law to prevent exploitation in the local industries are not sufficiently developed.

Secondly, it often promotes businesses on the sacrifice of the environment. Due to excessive pursuance of profitability, proper care and maintenance to the environment tend to be neglected. For example, a rise in corporate farms can increase pesticide use that can cause negative effects to not only the availability of arable land in the long run but also to the health of local residents.

Finally, it can also cause damages to industries in importing countries. For example, local businesses such as small-sized agricultural producers may not be able to survive in the harsh competition with the imported products backed up with low labour cost of other countries.

Free trade may certainly correct trade imbalance thus stimulating the world economy. Nevertheless, there are many negative impacts, as stated above, to local societies such as industries or citizens in both importing and exporting countries. Each nation should carefully consider the balance of the benefits and expected negative consequences in order to make free trade work successfully.