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One final reason why economists often treat the national interest argument    skeptically is that almost any product can be touted by lobbyists and politicians as vital to national security. In 1954, the United States became worried that it was importing half of the wool required for military uniforms, so it declared wool and mohair to be “strategic materials” and began to give subsidies to wool and mohair farmers. Although wool was removed from the official list of “strategic” materials in 1960, the subsidies for mohair continued for almost 40 years until they were repealed in 1993, and then were reinstated in 2002. All too often, the national interest argument has become an excuse for handing out the indirect subsidy of protectionism to certain industries or companies. After all, decisions about what constitutes a key strategic material are made by politicians, not nonpartisan analysts.

Key concepts and summary

There are a number of arguments that support restricting imports. These arguments are based around industry and competition, environmental concerns, and issues of safety and security.

The infant industry argument for protectionism is that small domestic industries need to be temporarily nurtured and protected from foreign competition for a time so that they can grow into strong competitors. In some cases, notably in East Asia, this approach has worked. Often, however, the infant industries never grow up. On the other hand, arguments against dumping (which is setting prices below the cost of production to drive competitors out of the market), often simply seem to be a convenient excuse for imposing protectionism.

Low-income countries typically have lower environmental standards than high-income countries because they are more worried about immediate basics such as food, education, and healthcare. However, except for a small number of extreme cases, shutting off trade seems unlikely to be an effective method of pursuing a cleaner environment.

Finally, there are arguments involving safety and security. Under the rules of the World Trade Organization, countries are allowed to set whatever standards for product safety they wish, but the standards must be the same for domestic products as for imported products and there must be a scientific basis for the standard. The national interest argument for protectionism holds that it is unwise to import certain key products because if the nation becomes dependent on key imported supplies, it could be vulnerable to a cutoff. However, it is often wiser to stockpile resources and to use foreign supplies when available, rather than preemptively restricting foreign supplies so as not to become dependent on them.

Problems

You have just been put in charge of trade policy for Malawi. Coffee is a recent crop that is growing well and the Malawian export market is developing. As such, Malawi coffee is an infant industry. Malawi coffee producers come to you and ask for tariff protection from cheap Tanzanian coffee. What sorts of policies will you enact? Explain.

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The country of Pepperland exports steel to the Land of Submarines. Information for the quantity demanded (Qd) and quantity supplied (Qs) in each country, in a world without trade, are given in [link] and [link] .

Pepperland
Price ($) Qd Qs
60 230 180
70 200 200
80 170 220
90 150 240
100 140 250
Land of submarines
Price ($) Qd Qs
60 430 310
70 420 330
80 410 360
90 400 400
100 390 440
  1. What would be the equilibrium price and quantity in each country in a world without trade? How can you tell?
  2. What would be the equilibrium price and quantity in each country if trade is allowed to occur? How can you tell?
  3. Sketch two supply and demand diagrams, one for each country, in the situation before trade.
  4. On those diagrams, show the equilibrium price and the levels of exports and imports in the world after trade.
  5. If the Land of Submarines imposes an anti-dumping import quota of 30, explain in general terms whether it will benefit or injure consumers and producers in each country.
  6. Does your general answer change if the Land of Submarines imposes an import quota of 70?
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References

Kohut, Andrew, Richard Wike, and Juliana Horowitz. “The Pew Global Attitudes Project.” Pew Research Center . Last modified October 4, 2007. http://www.pewglobal.org/files/pdf/258.pdf.

Lutz, Hannah. 2015. “U.S. Auto Exports Hit Record in 2014.” Automotive News. Accessed April 1, 2015. http://www.autonews.com/article/20150206/OEM01/150209875/u.s.-auto-exports-hit-record-in-2014.

Questions & Answers

An increase in the number of people within a specific age group without jobs but are actively looking for jobs is a major macro economic issue in any country. Please briefly explain the factors that influence a rise in this phenomenon and the effect it has on the country.
Bridget Reply
is Lm analysis
Ferdous
really
preety
theory of distribution
preety Reply
please help me
preety
theory of distribution
preety
it emphasizes mostly on supply, he states supply can create it own demand
Uganda Reply
compare pakistan's economic conditions and development with other countries
Adnan Reply
please tell me about. GOAL AND INVESTMENT IN MACROECONOMICS
SHAKEEL Reply
1. Division of labour increases the quality of output 2. it brings about specializations where a worker has an advantage of his area of competence. 3. The pay you get help you to buy the goods and wants
Becky Reply
1. to make choice in the face of scarcity 2. specializations 3.division of labour
Becky
Human wants and needs are numerous but the resources available are limited in supply.
Becky
The maximum amount of ham the residents will consume in a month is 30000
Becky
it makes economic sense to her because she works to get paid. since she cannot produced vegetables,
Becky
A computer systems engineer only specialized in his field of study as a computer engineer not a painter. so he needs to get the service of a painter to paint his house and he will pay for the service of the painter
Becky
the kitchen will produce more meals because there is division of labour and area of expertise
Becky
division of labour without trade will not work because there is no training in a particular field
Becky
it also increase productivity
Asiedu
or increase productivity
Asiedu
how to print
Siti Reply
what is flow variable
Siyanda Reply
a flow is a quantity that can be measured over a specific period of time
Abhishek
is economics a social science or a pure science
Hilda Reply
social science
Sammy
social science
Babarali
social Science as a Subject and Pure science as a study
Abhishek
How to compute National income by using the expenditure approach
Bridget Reply
explain the method?
Sammy
hy
Sajjad
C+I+G+(X-M) C= Consumption Expenditure I= Investment Expenditure G= Government Expenditure X-M = Net Export
Abhishek
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Sharat
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lukimia
o nice
Sajjad
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Albert
What do you need? Maybe we can help
Annisa
What's going on here?
Ivan
l need some information about macroeconomic
Sharat
First tell us what you already know about macroeconomic.
Ivan
any lecturer in here?
Albert
yes !! am here !! Lecturer of Economics And Statistics
Abhishek
Macroeconomics is too vast,so please be specific your question
niguse
I need help in statistics my lecturer is too fast at times I dont understand
Diana
Y=C+I+G+NX
Ayesha
Briefly explain whether the discipline of economics is a social science or pure science( normative or positive)
Okafor Reply
answer.... Economics is social science
Sammy
different between absolute advantage and comparative advantage
EDSON Reply
mathematical economics
masele Reply
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hassan
m
Om
why met worth is added with libilitys in the balance sheet
bijoy Reply
what are the implications of inflation targeting?
Alinaitwe Reply
maximize profit
Murry

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Source:  OpenStax, Macroeconomics. OpenStax CNX. Jun 16, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11626/1.10
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