The argument made by countries that restrict free trade and is essentially that of protecting domestic jobs threatened
Leonard P. Liggio and Tom G. Palmer at the Summer University.
by international competition, considered uneven or “harmful” because of social, fiscal, monetary and environmental “dumpings”.
By contrast, advocates of free trade show that prices fall through imports, and increase the purchasing power of domestic consumers. On the other hand the opening to the outside world allows transfers of technology, thus facilitating the development and growth. World markets are opening and are an outlet for all producers worldwide.
How do economics and business practice see this problem?
First should be considered the consequences of free trade on the level of unemployment, and analyze the origin of offshoring. In this regard, we must examine the distortions created by agencies in different countries, some of which are conducive to competitiveness, and some destructive to it. Taxation, legislation and regulation, social protection systems, protection of individual rights: all of which explain why some countries do not suffer from globalization while others struggle to adapt.
We must then consider whether free trade is a factor of generalized development or growing inequalities. Here comes into consideration the level of qualification, and the importance of investment in human capital: education, health and training. Doesn’t human progress come through social progress?
These considerations probably lead to an ethical question: isn’t understanding between peoples easier in an open world, where people, products, ideas flow easily? Isn’t free trade a factor of human progress?
A major debate among economists, lawyers, historians, philosophers and political scientists from around the world is useful to answer these questions. Provence and the Mediterranean are probably ideal places for such academic gathering.