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Given the rapidly expanding and constantly fluctuating global market of today, countries which adopt a free trade policy will have stronger markets, higher economic growth rates, and more opportunities than countries which adopt protectionism as their trade policy. Free trade allows for the lowest possible market prices, the most amount of specialization of good and services, and the highest possible equilibrium within the market and is necessary for any country which wants to be at the forefront of global economic competition. Ideally, according to Denise Froning, Senior Fellow and Director of government finance programs in the United States, when free trade is enacted correctly, countries will be able to have the most choices for consumables and therefore the most opportunities to better their living standards, countries will be able to make societal and technological advances because with free trade comes the circulation of new ideas from different cultures, and corruption can  be limited as it will be detrimental to not only the home country but the countries with which it is trading partners with. The relative ease with which goods can be made within a country has a large impact on the supply of the goods and subsequently its demand, meaning it makes more sense for a country to supply the goods it can produce with ease to its people and trade partners while the demand for goods which are not efficient to produce at home can be met by another trade partner. The versatility of free trade cannot be underestimated as each country has a specific set of natural resources which allows for specialized products to be available for the market. Additionally, there will be an overlap with the same products being produced by two or more countries, then allowing for competition for consumers and lower prices from such competition. Free trade works based on the idea of comparative advantage which, according to Andrew Walker, BBC World Service economics correspondent, is when a country has a lower opportunity cost than the country it is trading with. This leads to both countries concentrating on producing the goods which allow them to have a comparative advantage with the other country leading to the lowest possible prices on those goods. The countries are then able to set the terms of their trade with the other allowing both the specialized goods to be consumed in both countries. This definition of comparative advantage is simplistic as it is based on two countries who have goods which the other desires to consume. The global market is much more complex, especially when country relations, present tariffs and embargos, and disasters disrupting good productions are considered, but the underlying idea is that if the global economy moves toward that of a free trade economy, more countries stand to gain from positive competition than if they close their borders and thereby limit the production and consumption of goods and services.Countries with free trade have a higher per capita income and faster rates of economic growth. A study on the gross domestic production (GDP) within countries with free trade established that “there is a strong correlation between a country’s level of trade freedom (according to its Trade Freedom Index) and its GDP per capita” (Lambrechts J., et al. 2012). The study stresses on the usefulness and advantages of international trade because, in a fast-expanding global market, countries which open their borders can specialize in producing goods from their specific resources within their borders and subsequently trade for additional goods and services which are specialized in other countries. This allows for each country to specialize in their own specific set of good and services, maximize their potential to produce the goods and services, and trade at the best market price with other countries for additional goods and services they still require. Free trade policies force the change of certain sectors, such as manufacturing to technology, within a country, forcing the country to advance and evolve if it wants to remain a viable competitor in the global market which, ultimately, is a good thing. This will allow the elimination of job sectors which do not cost efficient in specific economies and push workers to better paying, more valuable, and less menial jobs as those job opportunities become obsolete. Within countries with free market trade policies, if one country is benefiting, its trade partners will benefit by extension, allowing poorer countries which trade with richer countries to not be mired in poverty by circumstance.One of the biggest cases against free trade is that somehow, certain countries will end up losing big in the economic global market without the protection of only selling goods in their home market because they will be competing with the vastly lower prices of other countries and lose business. While this is a valid argument, if free trade is established correctly, Andrew Walker states the gains of the home country by the global market will be high enough so that benefit programs for those negatively affected by free trade can be established and help compensate those who lost out in the market. The policy of protectionism is the main alternative to free trade, but heavily limits the freedom of a county’s market with tariffs and restrictions and exceedingly high prices on the consumers of the home country. Depriving consumers access to choices of goods at affordable and fair prices causes the stagnation of economic growth because the market potential is limited to only one country and not many.While the realizing free trade as the official global market trade policy is a multifaceted issue with many variables such as country relations, natural disasters, and conflicts contributing to its implementation, it is important to note that ultimately free trade will benefit the most amount of countries while harming the least and allows for the maximum amount of economic growth within a single country. As the world market continues to expand with technological advances, it is important that the future is marked with openness, both in the financial and societal sector so countries will be able to share in the success and innovation brought on by free trade and all this policy stands for. 

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