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Trade Liberalisation: Can Restriction and Protectionism Ever Be a Sound Policy
SSRN (2012)
  • Sumantra Maitra

Trade liberalization or free trade is a highly contested subject, especially in the current global financial scenario and ongoing economic recession and slowdown, which draws feverish support and equally violent condemnation. Whether trade liberalization hurts the poor or not is itself a matter of great debate and difference of opinion, one that can be seen in the recent latest move to allow Foreign Direct Investment (hereinafter FDI) by the Indian Government, and the varied reactions from both sides of the spectrum. There are arguments that Trade liberalization helps in growth and growth ultimately helps in lowering poverty, but on the other hand the uniformity of the benefits of globalisaion and trade liberalization is questioned. Arguments against trade liberalization claim that it can cost jobs and even lives, due to cheaper goods not facing the stringent checks at the market, or due to the loss of livelihood due to competition. Proponents and supporters, claim trade liberalization ultimately lowers consumer costs, fosters economic growth while maximizing efficiency. In this essay an effort is made to point down the basic aspects of trade liberalization and free and open market, how they benefit, and how they hurt poor, if at all, and when.

  • Trade Liberalisation,
  • Protectionism,
  • Policy,
  • India,
  • China,
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
Publication Date
August 1, 2012
Citation Information
Sumantra Maitra. "Trade Liberalisation: Can Restriction and Protectionism Ever Be a Sound Policy" SSRN (2012)
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