Protectionism: Although trade generally benefits a country as a whole, powerful interests within countries frequently put obstacles--i.e., they seek to inhibit free trade. There are several ways this can be done:
Tariff barriers: A duty, or tax or fee, is put on products imported. This is usually a percentage of the cost of the good.
Quotas: A country can export only a certain number of goods to the importing country. For example, Mexico can export only a certain quantity of tomatoes to the United States, and Asian countries can send only a certain quota of textiles here.
"Voluntary" export restraints: These are not official quotas, but involve agreements made by countries to limit the amount of goods they export to an importing country. Such restraints are typically motivated by the desire to avoid more stringent restrictions if the exporters do not agree to limit themselves. For example, Japanese car manufacturers have agreed to limit the number of automobiles they export to the United States.
Subsidies to domestic products: If the government supports domestic producers of a product, these may end up with a cost advantage relative to foreign producers who do not get this subsidy. U.S. honey manufacturers receive such subsidies.
Non-tariff barriers, such as differential standards in testing foreign and domestic products for safety, disclosure of less information to foreign manufacturers needed to get products approved, slow processing of imports at ports of entry, or arbitrary laws which favor domestic manufacturers.
Cultural lessons. We considered several cultural lessons in class; the important thing here is the big picture. For example, within the Muslim tradition, the dog is considered a "dirty" animal, so portraying it as "man's best friend" in an advertisement is counter-productive. Packaging, seen as a reflection of the quality of the "real" product, is considerably...