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Who benefits and who pays?

Using the demand and supply model, consider the impact of protectionism on producers and consumers in each of the two countries. For protected producers like U.S. sugar farmers, restricting imports is clearly positive. Without a need to face imported products, these producers are able to sell more, at a higher price. For consumers in the country with the protected good, in this case U.S. sugar consumers, restricting imports is clearly negative. They end up buying a lower quantity of the good and paying a higher price for what they do buy, compared to the equilibrium price and quantity without trade. The following Clear It Up feature considers why a country might outsource jobs even for a domestic product.

Why are life savers, an american product, not made in america?

Life Savers, the hard candy with the hole in the middle, were invented in 1912 by Clarence Crane in Cleveland, Ohio. Starting in the late 1960s and for 35 years afterward, 46 billion Life Savers a year, in 200 million rolls, were produced by a plant in Holland, Michigan. But in 2002, the Kraft Company announced that the Michigan plant would be closed and Life Saver production moved across the border to Montreal, Canada.

One reason is that Canadian workers are paid slightly less, especially in healthcare and insurance costs that are not linked to employment there. Another main reason is that the United States government keeps the price of sugar high for the benefit of sugar farmers, with a combination of a government price floor program and strict quotas on imported sugar. According to the Coalition for Sugar Reform, from 2009 to 2012, the price of refined sugar in the United States ranged from 64% to 92% higher than the world price. Life Saver production uses over 100 tons of sugar each day, because the candies are 95% sugar.

A number of other candy companies have also reduced U.S. production and expanded foreign production. Indeed, from 1997 to 2011, some 127,000 jobs in the sugar-using industries, or more than seven times the total employment in sugar production, were eliminated. While the candy industry is especially affected by the cost of sugar, the costs are spread more broadly. U.S. consumers pay roughly $1 billion per year in higher food prices because of elevated sugar costs. Meanwhile, sugar producers in low-income countries are driven out of business. Because of the sugar subsidies to domestic producers and the quotas on imports, they cannot sell their output profitably, or at all, in the United States market.

The fact that protectionism pushes up prices for consumers in the country enacting such protectionism is not always acknowledged openly, but it is not disputed. After all, if protectionism did not benefit domestic producers, there would not be much point in enacting such policies in the first place. Protectionism is simply a method of requiring consumers to subsidize producers. The subsidy is indirect, since it is paid by consumers through higher prices, rather than a direct subsidy paid by the government with money collected from taxpayers. But protectionism works like a subsidy, nonetheless. The American satirist Ambrose Bierce defined “tariff” this way in his 1911 book, The Devil’s Dictionary : “Tariff, n. A scale of taxes on imports, designed to protect the domestic producer against the greed of his consumer.”

The effect of protectionism on producers and consumers in the foreign country is complex. When an import quota is used to impose partial protectionism, the sugar producers of Brazil receive a lower price for the sugar they sell in Brazil—but a higher price for the sugar they are allowed to export to the United States. Indeed, notice that some of the burden of protectionism, paid by domestic consumers, ends up in the hands of foreign producers in this case. Brazilian sugar consumers seem to benefit from U.S. protectionism, because it reduces the price of sugar that they pay. On the other hand, at least some of these Brazilian sugar consumers also work as sugar farmers, so their incomes and jobs are reduced by protectionism. Moreover, if trade between the countries vanishes, Brazilian consumers would miss out on better prices for imported goods—which do not appear in our single-market example of sugar protectionism.

The effects of protectionism on foreign countries notwithstanding, protectionism requires domestic consumers of a product (consumers may include either households or other firms) to pay higher prices to benefit domestic producers of that product. In addition, when a country enacts protectionism, it loses the economic gains it would have been able to achieve through a combination of comparative advantage, specialized learning, and economies of scale, concepts discussed in International Trade .

Key concepts and summary

There are three tools for restricting the flow of trade: tariffs, import quotas, and nontariff barriers. When a country places limitations on imports from abroad, regardless of whether it uses tariffs, quotas, or nontariff barriers, it is said to be practicing protectionism. Protectionism will raise the price of the protected good in the domestic market, which causes domestic consumers to pay more, but domestic producers to earn more.

Problems

Assume two countries, Thailand (T) and Japan (J), have one good: cameras. The demand (d) and supply (s) for cameras in Thailand and Japan is described by the following functions:

Qd T  =  60 – P
Qs T  =  –5 +  1 4 P
Qd J  =  80 – P
Qs J  =  –10 +  1 2 P

P is the price measured in a common currency used in both countries, such as the Thai Baht.

  1. Compute the equilibrium price (P) and quantities (Q) in each country without trade.
  2. Now assume that free trade occurs. The free-trade price goes to 56.36 Baht. Who exports and imports cameras and in what quantities?
Got questions? Get instant answers now!

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Industries at a Glance.” Accessed December 31, 2013. http://www.bls.gov/iag/.

Oxfam International. Accessed January 6, 2014. http://www.oxfam.org/.

Questions & Answers

what is demand
Joseph Reply
Demand simply refers to the amount of goods and services which the consumer is willing and able to purchase at each price
Owusu
what is mean by unitary elastic demand
Bangniyel Reply
demand is said to be unitary elastic when the percentage change in the demand is equal to the percentage change in the price
George
what is the principle of equi-marginal utility
Reliance Reply
what is Economics and it important
Anita Reply
what is production
Anita
what is Economic
Anita Reply
what is the meaning of Economic
Anita
economics is a science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses
Boso
I don't know.
natchanan
u don't
Ssali
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Raewyn
boso u r too much u try
Liambee
ya nyc
Ssali
Thanks kk
Anita
pls can I ask more questions
Anita
what is production
Anita
production is creation of goods and services
George
what is macroeconomics and microeconomics
Anita
macroeconomics deals with larger economic units such as GDP,GNP,employment while microeconomics deals with smaller economic units such firm and household
George
Thanks
Anita
Explain the ff Scarcity Ends Demand Supply Choice Scale of preference
Anita
macroeconomics deals with larger economic units such as GDP,GNP,employment while microeconomics deals with smaller economic units such firm and household
George
Gross Domestic product...it represent the total value of the products produced within the country including foreign industries
George Reply
what is products
Anita
what are the favourable demand
Odia Reply
list of climate that affect demands
Odia
What is two major forms of international trade?
Musa Reply
What is Economics and why it is important
Abdul Reply
De ans,Economics is the study of women behavior as a relationship between end and scared mean which have alternative uses.
Anita
What is Inflation
Abdul Reply
More money = more consumers, more consumers = lessen the product, less product = high price, high price = inflation
TuroN
is it definition
Odia
why price and quantity increase
Otuu Reply
condition under which price and quantity will be increased at the same time
Otuu
factors that hinders mobility of labour
Dennis Reply
what is scarcity
Adams Reply
why are people still unemployed in this economy we live in
Joyce Reply
why are people still unemployed in this economy
Joyce
Because of high technology
Innocent
Due to low government expenditure, the state does not have money to invest in new projects that can result in more job opportunities.
Young
good afternoon all, what are the examples of development projects Pls?
James
I 'm not together with him, when we say government expenditure mean there is recession for her economic country. That why many people still unemployed in this economy we live in, it mainly depend for two phases like Natural hazards and human activities.
Innocent
For the first answer I was responded we are concerns to intensive technology in the whole world it lead to reduce of many workers.
Innocent
wat does the abbreviation ppc mean?
Tumiso
I would like to give you ideas so that you get well how can give answer to this question dears. Attempt to know these words and what these means; Deficit, Surplus and Balanced budget.
Innocent
ppc mean pay -per-click known as search engine marketing
Innocent
i found it ppc means production possibility curve
Tumiso
in economic is that true according to your answer, however about of Marketing is that Pay Per Click.
Innocent
how is inflation, output gap relate to monetary policy
Mary Reply

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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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