Combatting unfair trade
Context: There have been increasing demands in industrial countries for "fair trade" rather than free trade. Normally, unfair trade practices mean such things as non-tariff barriers, covert means to restrict imports, government subsidies (direct or indirect) to exports, and dumping (selling to export markets below the price in domestic markets).
Counter Claim: Demands that trade should take place on "a level playing field" sometimes go beyond the question of unfair practices and attack the very basis of trade - differences in comparative advantage. For example, in pleading for stiffer protection of the garment industry, a labour union representative in the USA put forward a common view: "Apparel produced in countries with abysmally low living standards and virtually no workers' rights threatens living standards in this country and destroys badly needed employment opportunities for our low-skilled workers". But protecting USA garment protection would, at best, only preserve jobs for garment workers at the cost of jobs and income elsewhere in the economy and would make it more difficult for workers in developing countries to raise their "abysmally low" living standards.
Type Classification: D: Detailed strategies