- Escape to the city
- Mobile middle class
- Big data, big impact?
- Feeding the 9 billion
- Countryside in Crisis?
- The Energy Water Food Stress Nexus
- Unsustainable Fishing
- Keeping pace with a digital revolution
- Global health in the 21st Century
- Adapting to an urban future
- Educating for tomorrow
- Digital technology in Africa
- Persistent poverty in Britain
- Can the UK ever be sustainable?
- Plastic pollution in the oceans
- Natural disasters: how to improve?
- Not In My Back Yard
- Digital Divide in the UK?
- Importing goods, exporting drought?
- Britain’s ageing population
- Engineering our climate
- The future shape of Capitalism
- Migration: skills and the job market
- Razing the Rainforest
- London under water
- Concreting the countryside
- Future of low carbon energy
- Africa in the 21st Century
What is protectionism?
What is Protectionism?
Protectionism is the policy of protecting domestic industries at the expense of global trade, by means of tariffs, subsidies, import quotas, or other restrictions or handicaps placed on the imports of foreign competitors.
Protectionist policies have been implemented by many countries despite the fact that virtually all mainstream economists agree that the world economy generally benefits from free trade.
Government-levied tariffs are commonly used - these raise the price of imported articles, making them more expensive (and therefore less attractive) than domestic products.
Arguments for protectionism
In the past protective tariffs have been used to stimulate industries in countries suffering from recession or depression.
Protectionists fault the free trade model as being reverse protectionism in disguise, that of using tax policy to protect foreign manufacturers from domestic competition.
Protectionism in the past
Mid 19th century - Britain began to abandon its protective tariffs in the first half of the after it had achieved industrial dominance in Europe
1920s - Damage and dislocation caused by World War I lead to a continual raising of customs barriers in Europe
1930s - The Great Depression lead to record levels of unemployment and an epidemic of protectionist measures. World trade shrank drastically as a result
1947 - United States was one of 23 nations to sign reciprocal trade agreements in the form of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
1995 - GATT replaced by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva
2009 - Fears of a shift to protectionist measures grow in Europe and America amid the global financial crisis