Free Trade is Freedom

Free trade does not need any more justification than freedom itself. The freedom to enter into peaceful, mutually beneficial transactions without official permission or penalty is so self-evidently a part of freedom in general that it is almost incomprehensible that anyone who purports to favor freedom over tyranny would ever argue for so-called protectionism.

You don’t need to understand the theory of comparative advantage, though it would be good for your understanding if you did. You need only favor freedom rather than state control of economic life.

Save as PDFPrint

Written by 

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute and Editor at Large of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University, and he has taught at the University of Washington, Lafayette College, Seattle University, the University of Economics, Prague, and George Mason University. He has been a visiting scholar at Oxford University and Stanford University, and a fellow at the Hoover Institution and the National Science Foundation.