The expired Multi-Fiber Arrangement left thirty million people across the world unemployed. These workers were unfortunate victims of globalized free trade. Free trade leads us to believe that goods should always be produced by the firms competing under pure capitalist conditions. This idea is not wrong; it is only the dangers of free trade should be mitigated in emerging markets around the globe to give them the opportunity to succeed. Protectionism, the antagonist of free trade, is the solution to best prepare infant industries and emerging economies anywhere in the world; this policy employees more denizens, produces stronger industries, and cultivates stronger markets than free trade ever could.
Inefficiency creates more jobs. If the entire world can exploit a market then only those countries with the most efficient industries will be able to sell. Protectionism erects a wall of tariffs that prevents foreign goods from ever contaminating domestic markets by driving prices up to an inclusive level for domestic products. Under protectionism, small industries gain a foothold, bloom, and employ more denizens in every country across the world. There are minor concessions; on a global level less of goods are produced and the cost is driven up slightly as well. These negligible effects diffused throughout the consumer markets means the world to the now employed workers who can support their families. Protectionism is more humane than free trade.
Stronger industries are built under the shield of protectionism. Behind a wall of tariffs the United States built mighty firms of industry that dominated the world for the second half of the twentieth century. Preceding the Americans, the British had done the same when the pioneered the Industrial Revolution and built an empire upon which the sun never set. Since the 1970’s China used numerous protectionist policies, notably keeping its currency artificially low. It is predicted to have the world’s largest GDP by 2020. Examples of booming economies that got their start in free trade are scare. Columbus and Admiral Perry opened up trade to the Americas and East Asia respectively. In both countries widespread exploitation of natives and complete sterilization of domestic industries ensued following the introduction of cheap free trade imports. Free trade is a tool of the strong to stay in power and collect wealth; for weaker nations and industries free trade is a poison which cripples.
Stronger markets evolve under protectionism. Protectionist policies protect infant industries and prevent exploitation of weak economies. In an international market of free trade monopolies are certain to emerge. Monopolies are established when there is not industrial competition. This problem hurts everyone. Consumers suffer from an inferior product; without the Darwinian survival of the fittest threat the producers have no incentive to innovate. Marginal producers are harmed. Any attempts to breach the market are squelched under the monopoly. The monopoly hurts itself through stagnation. Protectionism is the best means in a globalized economy to give marginal producers and infant industries the time to create a profitable industries despite the monopolies. Consumers and marginal producers benefit from better products and pay checks while potential monopolies are broken out of self-defeating cycles of stagnation. Protectionism helps everyone.
Protectionist protects countries. It harbors citizens and gives them jobs. It cultivates infant industries under a cocoon of tariffs. Better products and firms are brought to market thanks to protectionism. It seems almost silly to even think about introducing globalized free trade to emerging economies; it corrupts infant industries and kills jobs. If it were not for multinational corporations, who preach fallacious free trade to all for a better profit margin, protectionism would indisputably hold in its rightful place as protector of firms, consumes, and employees.