The Benefits of Trade

Sketch: Arrival of Radisson in an Indian camp, 1660.

The Benefits of Trade examines the economic argument for free trade, with an emphasis on the importance of trade for Canadian provinces. The author discusses international, interprovincial, and local trading relationships, explaining the benefits of free exchange for all three types. He argues that a major factor in the benefits of free trade lies in comparative advantage, whereby producers create the goods they are best suited to make and interact with consumers on a voluntary basis. Protectionism, by contrast, implies that a jurisdiction should produce and consume its own goods despite the higher cost that this requires. The author explains the benefit of dropping barriers to exchange, even when trading partners do not reply in kind: by remaining open to trade, a jurisdiction’s population accrues the benefit of a higher standard of living from more-affordable goods. Producers must also improve the quality of their goods through greater competition.

“Making the case for free trade is more important than ever,” said President & CEO Marco Navarro-Génie. “Trade expert Pierre Lemieux delivers a lucid and accessible defence of robust trade and lowering barriers to exchange.”

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The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies is an independent, non-profit research organization that offers a distinctive perspective on issues of public policy in Atlantic Canada. AIMS stimulates public discourse with well-considered argument and data. It is unique among regional think tanks in operating entirely free from government subsidy.

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Pierre Lemieux

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