Economic Openness
greater economic openness between nations lead towards economic growth and
convergence? Greater economic openness between nations does lead towards
economic growth and convergence. All of the first world countries demonstrate
greater economic openness then third world countries demonstrate. Although
economic openness may be a solution to gain economic growth and convergence,
free trade may not be the answer. There are two different views on free trade;
the conservative view and the liberal view. In an economic age in which speedy
transactions of imports and exports are essential, free trade is a necessity for
aiding worldwide economic development. Even today, the United States continues
to support free trade, an example being NAFTA (North America Free Trade

Agreement). The problem is that America\'s generosity has caused the foreign
industry to take over the U.S. marketplace. This unfortunately has resulted in
high unemployment rates because consumers and firms can purchase foreign goods
for a little less than domestic products. From a conservative viewpoint, the
only remedy to decrease unemployment and stimulate our own economic growth is to
abandon the free trade policy and raise tariffs. Free trade has only crippled
the American work force, increased poverty, and added to our national debt. If
other nations begin to support free trade, the same situation may be likely to
occur. Today there are about 10 million unemployed citizens and 35 million

Americans are living in poverty because of free trade. Foreign industry is
taking advantage of us. Market-opening measures in Asia along with other
countries across the world have been promoted by exporting opportunities. In any
clothing store and you\'ll find that most of the apparel comes from South Korea,

China, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. It\'s simply not feasible for
the U.S. apparel industry to compete with the extremely low production costs in

Third World countries. Also, another example of an industry hurt by free trade
is the lumber industry. Even though our country possesses the largest supply of
timber resources, the United States is the largest importer of wood products in
the world. The reason: imported wood is less expensive, especially from Canada.

Other examples of industries that have responded negatively to free trade are
the U.S. textile petrochemical, fishing, and auto industries. The temptation for
consumers to buy cheaper foreign goods has only slowed production in U.S.
industries and has caused unemployment levels to skyrocket. America needs to
become less generous, more independent, and definitely more self-sufficient.

Free trade policies need to be discontinued if that it is to be accomplished.

The liberal viewpoint, however, is somewhat different. In a world of
ever-increasing global economic interdependence, the United States should accept
the responsibility of leadership towards the approaching 21st Century by
promoting free trade. We need to do so in such a way that builds and matures the
economies of other countries. As technology continues to advance in areas such
as computers, medicine, and communication, we need to prioritize the spreading
of these advancements across the world in hopes for reaching worldwide economic
stability and unity. Free trade is the best way to allow for the sharing of
valuable resources and technology, which in turn makes the world a better,
safer, and more united place for all. Inhibiting free trade is a step backwards
in politics that only made sense back in the days when communication was slow
and were being fought. Allowing for the existence of free trade is a step
forward in the right direction towards the necessary global interdependent ways
of the nearing 21st Century. Having clarified the different perspectives of the
two main political parties on the free trade issue, it is hard to determine
which action would be the most advantageous. Actually, both parties have come to
conclusions on this issue which would allow for positive and negative results.

The only problem is deciding which one would have the best overall effects.

Should we put the immediate focus on our own economy and allow it to prosper,
while other poorer countries suffer from the tariffs? Or, should we do away with
all taxes on imports in hope that others will follow our bold lead? Only the
near future can show which was the best decision. For certain, however, the
results will be global. 4.) Who has benefited and who has lost from greater
international trade? The financial crisis that erupted in Asia in mid-1997 has
led to sharp declines in the currencies, stock markets, and other asset prices
of a number of Asian countries. It was hard to understand what these declines
would actually do to the world market. This decline was expected to