Free Trade

Essay by adanr262046 June 2006

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When Presidents Clinton and Bush supported free trade agreements with Latin America congress opposed their initiatives. In this essay I am going to discuss why free trade is beneficial, why presidents favor free trade while members of congress oppose it, under what conditions congress will support Presidential free trade agreements, how an adversarial legislature can assist Presidents in strategic trade negotiations, and finally whether free trade zone is a good idea.

Free trade is beneficial because it creates a positive sum whereby more products are available for everyone. For example if there is free trade with Mexico the Mexicans can just spend all their time growing crops while the US spends all its time developing technology and thus there will be a greater net number of things if there is free trade between the two countries than if each country tried to produce both crops and technology. Thus, this will benefit everyone collectively because there will be more goods.

However, this does not mean that individuals will not be affected. For example in my example technology workers in Mexico would lose their job while farmers in the US would too. Thus free trade is not necessarily the best option because it will bring benefits to the whole but it will harm individuals. The reason the president favors free trade while members of congress oppose it is akin to why free trade is beneficial for the collective but it hurts individuals. The President represents the collective interests of the whole U.S. population. Thus as I mentioned free trade is beneficial in that it benefits everyone. Thus the president wants to benefit everyone and because of this he will advocate free trade because this way he will maximize the benefits. However, members of congress represent individuals. Thus they will want to protect...