The free movement of goods across national borders has long been a controversial issue

The free movement of goods across national borders has long been a controversial issue. Some people argue that it is necessary for economic growth, while others claim that it damages local industries.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion. You should write at least 250 words.

Solution

One of the most debatable issues of the last century has been the extent to which international trade benefits or harms national economies. Many arguments have been made for and against free trade between nations. In this essay, I will discuss both views and state my own position.

People favouring the expansion of global free trade claim that economies grow faster when they can specialise in just a few industries in which they have a definite advantage. Consequently, each region or country produces something of value to the world economy. For example, East Asia manufactures electronic goods, the Middle East exports energy, and the EU provides luxury items. Free trade proponents claim that dependence on global trade helps to strengthen international cooperation and prevent wars.

On the other hand, opponents of free trade—sometimes called ‘protectionists’—claim that the unrestricted movement of goods and services causes damage to local communities. It is because jobs are lost when it becomes cheaper to import a product than to produce it domestically. They also argue that the vast distances travelled by food, oil, and consumer goods is harming the environment and making our lives unsustainable. Protectionists are in favour of tighter controls on the movement of products and services to protect jobs and livelihoods.

In conclusion, while there are convincing arguments on both sides of the debate, a return to protectionist policies would surely be a mistake. I believe that global trade is inevitable and should not be restricted. It is no longer realistic for nations to source all of their energy, food, and manufactured goods within their own borders.

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