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Economic Protectionism - Essay Example

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Name and Number of the Course Date ECONOMIC PROTECTIONISM Introduction “Laws aimed at insulating the state from interstate competition involve what the Court has called simple Economic Protectionism” (May & Ides 350). However, under the dormant Commerce Clause such laws are invalid…
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Economic Protectionism Essay
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Economic Protectionism

Download file to see previous pages... Economic protectionist laws are struck down on the basis that the state has not used a more equitable means of achieving its goal. Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to investigate economic protectionism, explain the rationale for governments implementing protectionist policies and evaluate whether these policies were successful or otherwise. Economic Protectionism: Its Rationale and Extent of Success An economic protectionist law is one that is enacted to shield locals from out-of-state competition. For example, when the purpose of a law is to shield Alaska’s infant timber processing industry from the effects of interstate and foreign competition, it is deemed as invalid. Similarly, a state’s labeling law in the apple growing industry would be considered to be economic protectionist if it were meant to prevent apple growers in other states from selling their fruits in the former state. Thus, where economic protectionism is a law’s ultimate goal, the measure can be held to be unfounded. However, if the apple growing state argues that requiring the use of a specific grade is a reasonable method to protect consumers against fraud and deception, the court would most likely accept this argument (May & Ides 350). On the other hand, ecomomic protectionism is also considered to be damaging if it is merely a means, a stepping-stone, or an intermediate goal towards the attainment of a legitimate end. For example, “a genuine quarantine law that bans the importation of diseased crops or animals is not economic protectionism if it was adopted for health reasons” (May & Ides 352) even though it has the incidental effect of shielding local sellers from competion from other states. Although quarantine laws are not invalid in themselves, they may be invalidated if they fail to meet one of the other requirements of the dominant Commerce Clause analysis. The Argument Against Economic Protectionism Support for continued trade liberalization may be declining, as the results from recent polls and political rhetoric suggest. This development is a matter of concern. A shift away from comparatively open global trading system that is currently in place would enforce substantial economic losses to most countries. International trade raises the standard of living in all countries. Consumer well-being is increased by lower prices on imported products and greater variety of products available in the market. Further, production efficiency is improved by specialization based on comparative advantage and increased competition from foreign businesses, thereby raising the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Firms also get access to foreign capital goods that generally contain new technologies; this further improves productivity (Kroll 9-10). In relation to the effect on jobs and wages impacted by international trade, the evidence indicates that trade can lead to the displacement of workers in industries that compete with imports. On the other hand, this adverse outcome is relatively small in comparison to overall increase in employment opportunities. In the United States although displaced workers face adjustment costs, overall the country “has experienced robust total employment growth in the presence of expanded trade” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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