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By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Explain tarrifs as barriers to trade
  • Identify at least two benefits of reducing barriers to international trade

Tariffs are taxes that governments place on imported goods for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include protecting sensitive industries, for humanitarian reasons, and protecting against dumping . Traditionally, tariffs were used simply as a political tool to protect certain vested economic, social, and cultural interests. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is committed to lowering barriers to trade. The world’s nations meet through the WTO to negotiate how they can reduce barriers to trade, such as tariffs. WTO negotiations happen in “rounds,” where all countries negotiate one agreement to encourage trade, take a year or two off, and then start negotiating a new agreement. The current round of negotiations is called the Doha Round because it was officially launched in Doha, the capital city of Qatar, in November 2001. In 2009, economists from the World Bank summarized recent research and found that the Doha round of negotiations would increase the size of the world economy by $160 billion to $385 billion per year, depending on the precise deal that ended up being negotiated.

In the context of a global economy that currently produces more than $30 trillion of goods and services each year, this amount is not huge: it is an increase of 1% or less. But before dismissing the gains from trade too quickly, it is worth remembering two points.

  • First, a gain of a few hundred billion dollars is enough money to deserve attention! Moreover, remember that this increase is not a one-time event; it would persist each year into the future.
  • Second, the estimate of gains may be on the low side because some of the gains from trade are not measured especially well in economic statistics. For example, it is difficult to measure the potential advantages to consumers of having a variety of products available and a greater degree of competition among producers. Perhaps the most important unmeasured factor is that trade between countries, especially when firms are splitting up the value chain of production, often involves a transfer of knowledge that can involve skills in production, technology, management, finance, and law.

Low-income countries benefit more from trade than high-income countries do. In some ways, the giant U.S. economy has less need for international trade, because it can already take advantage of internal trade within its economy. However, many smaller national economies around the world, in regions like Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, have much more limited possibilities for trade inside their countries or their immediate regions. Without international trade, they may have little ability to benefit from comparative advantage, slicing up the value chain, or economies of scale. Moreover, smaller economies often have fewer competitive firms making goods within their economy, and thus firms have less pressure from other firms to provide the goods and prices that consumers want.

Questions & Answers

what is scarcity? pls help
Mikateko Reply
what is distribution
umar Reply
1.what is distribution? 2.what are factors affecting distribution? 3.releat what you are writing in the contest of economics and Nigeria situation
what is demand
Obianyido Reply
The market for you In Ilorin has the following demand and supply equation Qd + 5p =9520 Qs =2.5p - 125 a) determine the equation price and quantity b) Explain the situation when the market price is below the equlibrum price
Rasheee Reply
What is scale of preference
Richmond Reply
Pls what is scale of preference
scale of preference is a arrangement of individual wants in order of priority
the arrangement of people want inoder of demand
explain whether decisions in microeconomics involve an opportunity cost
Sonali Reply
What is primary activity
Yeboah Reply
indigenization is the dominance or influence of people native in a particular place or
what's indigenization?
Enoch Reply
What is economics?
Penuel Reply
economics is a social science which studies of human behaviour as a relationship between end and scores which have antanetuve use
economics is the study of complicated tables and chart, statistics and numbers but more specifically it is the study of what constitute human rational behavior in endeavor to fulfill human needs and want
what are the five laws of demand
Uleme Reply
the ppc curve slopes down due to Central problem of economy.......
what is economic by James Stewart
what is economic
Okechukwu Reply
Economics is a science of wealth
what is economic and what is the definition
economic is science and arts both........
to me is a science which study human behavior as a relationship between ends and scare which have alternative use
economic is a science which study human and environment
Explain any five limitation to division of labour
Aliyu Reply
size of the market. for example..let's take a look at a barbing saloon. the number of hands needed there isnt up to the one needed in a company or production line because the number of people the barbing saloon is serving cant be up to the ones of the company
Answer: The four basic problems of an economy, which arise from the central problem of scarcity of resources are: What to produce?How to produce?For whom to produce?What provisions (if any) are to be made for economic growth?
Yusuf Reply
what is the basic economic problem
Arnold Reply
what is the basic problem
importance of elasticity of demand
Ayuk Reply
what nature is price elasticity
nature of price elasticity
is it de basic economic problem
Answer: The four basic problems of an economy, which arise from the central problem of scarcity of resources are: What to produce?How to produce?For whom to produce?What provisions (if any) are to be made for economic growth?
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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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