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Unit IV International Trade (Chapter 8). In this chapter, look for the answers to these questions: What determines how much of a good a country will import.

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Presentation on theme: "Unit IV International Trade (Chapter 8). In this chapter, look for the answers to these questions: What determines how much of a good a country will import."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit IV International Trade (Chapter 8)

2 In this chapter, look for the answers to these questions: What determines how much of a good a country will import or export? Who benefits from trade? Who does trade harm? Do the gains outweigh the losses? How do tariffs and import quotas cause inefficiency and reduce total surplus? Why do governments often engage in trade protection to shelter domestic industries from imports and how do international trade agreements counteract this?

3 The World Price and Comparative Advantage P W = the world price of a good, the price that prevails in world markets P D = domestic price without trade If P D > P W, –country does not have comparative advantage –under free trade, country imports the good –There are overall gains from trade because consumer gains exceed the producer losses. If P D < P W, –country has comparative advantage in the good –under free trade, country exports the good –There are overall gains from trade because producer gains exceed the consumer losses.

4 The Small Economy Assumption A small economy is a price taker in world markets: Its actions have no affect on P W. Not always true – especially for the U.S. – but simplifies the analysis without changing its lessons. When a small economy engages in free trade, P W is the only relevant price: –No seller would accept less than P W, because she could sell the good for P W in world markets. –No buyer would pay more than P W, because he could buy the good for P W in world markets.

5 A Country That Exports Soybeans Without trade, P D = $4 Q = 500 P W = $6 Under free trade, –domestic consumers demand 300 –domestic producers supply 750 –exports = 450 P Q D S $6 $ Soybeans exports 750

6 A Country That Exports Soybeans Without trade, CS = A + B PS = C Total surplus = A + B + C With trade, CS = A PS = B + C + D Total surplus = A + B + C + D P Q D S $6 $4 Soybeans exports A B D C gains from trade

7 A Country That Imports Plasma TVs Without trade, P D = $3000 Q = 400 P W = $1500 Under free trade, –domestic consumers demand 600 –domestic producers supply 200 –imports = 400 P Q D S $ $ Plasma TVs imports

8 A Country That Imports Plasma TVs Without trade, CS = A PS = B + C Total surplus = A + B + C With trade, CS = A + B + D PS = C Total surplus = A + B + C + D P Q D S $1500 $3000 Plasma TVs A B D C gains from trade imports

9 total surplus producer surplus consumer surplus direction of trade rises falls rises imports P D > P W rises falls exports P D < P W Summary: The Welfare Effects of Trade Whether a good is imported or exported, trade creates winners and losers. But the gains exceed the losses.

10 Other Benefits of International Trade Consumers enjoy increased variety of goods. Producers sell to a larger market and may achieve lower costs through economies of scale. Competition from abroad may reduce market power of some firms, which would increase total welfare. Trade enhances the flow of ideas, facilitates the spread of technology around the world PROBLEM -- there are losers in free trade –SOLUTION -- winners compensate the losers (seldom done)

11 Effects of Trade Protection An economy has free trade when the government does not attempt either to reduce or to increase the levels of exports and imports that occur naturally as a result of supply and demand. Policies that limit imports are known as trade protection or simply as protection. Most economists advocate free trade, although many governments engage in trade protection of import-competing industries. The two most common protectionist policies are tariffs and import quotas. In rare instances, governments subsidize export industries.

12 Effects of a Tariff A tariff is a tax levied on imports. It raises the domestic price above the world price, leading to a fall in trade and total consumption and a rise in domestic production. Domestic producers and the government gain, but consumer losses more than offset this gain, leading to deadweight loss in total surplus.

13 Tariff: An Example of a Trade Restriction Tariff: a tax on imports Example: Cotton shirts P W = $20 Tariff: T = $10/shirt Consumers must pay $30 for an imported shirt. So, domestic producers can charge $30 per shirt. In general, the price facing domestic buyers & sellers equals (P W + T ).

14 $30 Analysis of a Tariff on Cotton Shirts P W = $20 free trade: buyers demand 80 sellers supply 25 imports = 55 T = $10/shirt price rises to $30 buyers demand 70 sellers supply 40 imports = 30 P Q D S $20 25 Cotton shirts imports

15 $30 Analysis of a Tariff on Cotton Shirts free trade CS = A + B + C + D + E + F PS = G Total surplus = A + B + C + D + E + F + G tariff CS = A + B PS = C + G Revenue = E Total surplus = A + B + C + E + G P Q D S $20 25 Cotton shirts 40 A B D E G F C deadweight loss = D + F

16 $30 Analysis of a Tariff on Cotton Shirts D = deadweight loss from the overproduction of shirts F = deadweight loss from the under- consumption of shirts P Q D S $20 25 Cotton shirts 40 A B D E G F C deadweight loss = D + F

17 Import Quotas: Another Way to Restrict Trade An import quota is a quantitative limit on imports of a good. Mostly, has the same effects as a tariff: –raises price, reduces quantity of imports –reduces buyers welfare –increases sellers welfare A tariff creates revenue for the govt. A quota creates profits for the license holder

18 Trade Protection in the United States The United States today generally follows a policy of free trade. Most manufactured goods are subject either to no or a low tariff. There are two areas where imports are limited: Agriculture: A certain amount of imports are subject to low a tariff rate and this acts like an import quota because only importers that are license holders are allowed to pay the low rate. Any additional imports are subject to a higher tariff. Clothing and Textiles: A surge of clothing from China led to a partial re-imposition of import quotas which had otherwise been removed at the start of In most cases, quota licenses are assigned to foreign governments. Quota rents greatly go overseas, increasing the cost to the U.S. of foreign imports.

19 Trade Protection in the United States There isnt much U.S. trade protection. According to official U.S. estimates, the total economic cost of all quantifiable restrictions on imports is about $3.7 billion a year, or around one-fortieth of a percent on national income. Of this, about $1.9 billion comes from restrictions on clothing imports, $0.8 billion from restrictions on sugar, and $0.6 billion from restrictions on dairy. Everything else is small change.

20 Arguments for Trade Protection Advocates of tariffs and import quotas offer a variety of arguments. Three common arguments are: –national security –job creation –the infant industry argument Despite the deadweight losses, import protections are often imposed because groups representing import-competing industries are smaller and more cohesive than groups of consumers.

21 Trade Agreements A country can liberalize trade with –unilateral reductions in trade restrictions –multilateral agreements with other nations Examples of trade agreements: –North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 1993 –General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), ongoing World Trade Organization (WTO) est. 1995, enforces trade agreements, resolves disputes

22 New Challenges to Globalization There are two concerns shared by economists: –Worries about the effects of globalization on inequality. –Worries that new developments, in particular the growth in offshore outsourcing, are increasing economic insecurity. Offshore outsourcing takes place when businesses hire people in another country to perform various tasks.

23 CHAPTER SUMMARY A country will export a good if the world price of the good is higher than the domestic price without trade. Trade raises producer surplus, reduces consumer surplus, and raises total surplus. A country will import a good if the world price is lower than the domestic price without trade. Trade lowers producer surplus, but raises consumer and total surplus. International trade leads to expansion in exporting industries and contraction in import-competing industries. Most economists advocate free trade, but in practice many governments engage in trade protection. A tariff is a tax levied on imports. An import quota is a legal limit on the quantity of a good that can be imported. Although several popular arguments have been made in favor of trade protection, in practice the main reason for protection is probably political: import-competing industries are well-organized and well-informed about how they gain from trade protection, while consumers are unaware of the costs they pay. Many concerns have been raised about the effects of globalization: Income inequality due to the surge in imports from relatively poor countries Offshore outsourcing


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