Protectionnism and Free Trade in Economical Doctrines — страница 2

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of mercantilist theory we can name also Edward Misselden, William Petty, and others. With the emergence of mercantilism in the 16th-17th century, an extensive body of literature dealing with the international trade appeared, although we must add immediately that it yielded relatively few lasting contributions to international trade theory. Mercantilists' ideas often were intellectually shallow, and indeed their trade policy may have been little more than rationalization of the interests of rising merchant class that wanted wider markets coupled with protection against competition in the form of imported goods. Liberalism A strong reaction against mercantilist attitudes began to take shape toward the middle of the 18th century. In France, the economists known as Physiocrats

demanded liberty of production and trade. In England, Adam Smith demonstrated in his The Wealth of Nations (1776) the advantages of removing trade restrictions. Economists and businessmen voiced their opposition to excessively high and often prohibitive customs duties and urged the negotiation of trade agreements with foreign powers. This movement was later named liberalism and the very first economists fighting against the mercantile ideas are regarded to as the pre-classical liberalists. Pre-classical Liberalism 18th century is often remarked through the development of the scientific trend in studying human society. In this way through the association with such sciences as physics, medicine, astronomy, and others, it was proved that the society is ridden by the "natural

law". Instead of being finalistic and normative, as in the Middle Ages, the human sciences became descriptive and explanatory. One of the first scientists which tried to follow these concepts are the pre-classical liberalists and among them such economists as Dudley (Douglas) North, Cantillon, Hume, Condillac, and others. Dudley North North undertook a vigurous attack aimed at ridding the discussion of foreign trade matters from mercantilist "superstitions". He has fittingly been called the first "free trader" in the Smithian sense. Viewing the whole world rather than a single nation as an economic unit, he demonstrated that there's no fundamental difference between foreign and domestic trade. North also presented a concise formulation of the automatic

and self-regulating mechanism that provides a nation with that sum of money required for carrying its trade. Cantillon Cantillon deflated mercantilist tenets by showing that if a country continues to sell more than it buys from abroad, money will successively will flow into it and, as a first consequence, land and labor in the export-surplus country will become more expensive. Hume Hume greatly helped to piece together the theory of self-regulating international trade, and he went beyond Cantillon in pointing out why a country could not permanently have a "favorable" or "unfavorable" trade balance. Specifically, he stated the theory of self-regulating mechanism with a much greater degree of clarity and incorporated it more consistently with the remainder of

his work than was the case with any of the earlier or contemporary writers. He included the influence of exchange-rate fluctuations on commodity trade in the mechanism as an additional equilibrating factor. Hume considered that the exchange rate equilibrates the trade balance of the country; this meaning that it grows, if the trade balance tends to the unfavorable one and in this way presses the imports, and vice-versa. Condillac Condillac applied his utility theory to international trade and demonstrated that what holds true for exchange between two persons is largely applicable also to commerce between nations. The inequality of subjunctive valuations he saw reflected, on a larger scale, in the total exchange transactions between nations. He decried the foolishness of

establishing trade barriers because it is in the very nature of exchange that both parties will benefit - what is offered for sale always being valued less highly than what is acquired in return. If each nation insisted on selling only, they would all eventually wind up without foreign trade and deprive themselves of its benefits. Condillac went beyond his predecessors Hume and Cantillon in showing that even if other nations continue putting up obstacles to international exchange, it will be advantageous for a particular country to adhere to free-trade principles. He concludes, somewhat optimistically, that when trading enjoys complete and permanent liberty, wealth is bound to spread everywhere. Classical Liberalism Classical liberalistic school gave us three models of