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U.S. Trade Policy

U.S. Trade Policy
Part 1
Despite the continued globalization of world economies, the United States increasingly resisted trade liberalization in some sectors. Moreover, American labor movements view American trade policy as unregulated and disfranchising to the American workers. They link this to outsourcing of jobs overseas. This is not absolutely true given the advocacy for complete liberalization of trade in an effort to create new jobs through the expansion of U.S. exports to foreign markets (Alessi & McMahon, 2012).
Protectionism has played a very crucial role in the U.S. trade policy. The United States use trade tariffs and quotas to protect the country from the influence of international trade. The major role of protectionism under the U.S. trade policy is to expand domestic production of the industries that are covered under protectionism policies. Additionally, protectionism plays a major role in regulating the entry of cheaper quality products from foreign markets. It also helps to avoid joblessness that is created by free mobility of cheap labor into the country.
Trade protectionism has far-reaching economic consequences. Trade restrictions affect the efficient use of domestic resources as compared to free trade (Kroll, 2008). In addition to the stated economic consequences, protectionism also lowers the U.S. net exports. Furthermore, it could also have worse impacts on trade terms from other nations. For instance, relative import prices to export prices can cause a depreciation of the U.S. dollar. Protectionism may also lower the U.S. net exports thereby reducing demand of the U.S. products (United States, 1990). From these two scenarios, it is evident that trade protection hurts the economy by reducing the quantity of exports and exports (Rego & Siriwardana, 2006).
The most adversely affected individuals from trade protectionism are consumers. Consumers pay a significant amount for products that would have been sourced cheaply from free trade. This imposes costs to consumers, and this is usually three times the gain of workers (Krol, 2008). According to Rego & Siriwardana (2006), protectionism drives resources from productive end-use thereby causing loss of social welfare. Additionally, it lowers the output and employment in downstream industries that would have benefited from the import of cheap inputs from the international market. Workers and large domestic industries are the greatest beneficiaries of trade protection (Krol, 2008).
The American Recovery and Reinvestment and Recovery Act and “Buy American” Provisions 2009 is regarded as the worst protectionist trade policy adopted by the U.S. (Hufbauer, Kirkegaard, Wong & Woollacott, 2010). These protectionist policies have had far-reaching consequences on the economy including an increase in the debt burden of the federal government. It has also limited the expansion of trade exports to the targeted country such as China and thereby contributing to high unemployment rate.
Part 2
I agree with Jean on the importance of trade protectionism. Protectionism is critical in protecting vulnerable industries that may be severely affected under free trade terms. Different countries possess substantial comparative advantages in production of particular goods. If a country allows free trade in circumstances that it is comparatively disadvantaged in the production of particular products, the domestic industries producing such commodities are threatened. Free trade will adversely affect such industries through intense competition thereby damaging the industries of that country.
I tend to slightly disagree with Kelly on the argument that protectionism is allows new companies to learn how to produce their goods effectively. This is on basis that protectionism limits production expansion since new companies which are usually small only target domestic market. In this context, protections limit competition in an industry. It should be noted that competition within an industry is a major source of efficiency in production and marketing. At this point protectionism efficiency benefits new and small companies that would have benefited from more open competition. Additionally, new companies may only be cost efficient if they access cheap input from foreign market.

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