The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Free Trade

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Debate Round Forfeited
MehItsaName has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/16/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 12 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 479 times Debate No: 99002
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)




I am challenging the user "MehItsaName" to a debate on free trade.

Rules of Debate:
1) Burden of proof will be shared equally.
2) If con chooses to post arguments in round 1, they should waive round 4 to keep the rounds used for debate even since I am not using round 1 for debate.
3) The first round for debate should not include any rebuttals against your opponent's arguments. It is just for your own arguments. This would only apply to the person who posts their main arguments second, of course.
4) The second round of debate can include new arguments and/or rebuttals against your opponent's main arguments
5) The third round should only be rebuttals against your opponent's arguments, and/or defense against your opponent's rebuttals.
6) No personal insults, attacks, or ad hominem
If any of the above rules are violated, voters should award the point for conduct to the person who did not violate these rules, or who did so to a lesser extent.

If con objects to any of the above rules, they should say so in comments, and I may tweak some of them, otherwise it will be assumed they agree to them.

Free Trade: "a policy followed by some international markets in which countries' governments do not restrict imports from, or exports to, other countries."[1]



We should support free trade for 2 main reasons:

A. Trade restrictions strain relations, which means we can't work with countries as effectively as we could with free trade. We need to work with other countries in order to better solve problems in the world
Sub A) A big example of this is with China, we try to limit trade with them a lot, which makes them mad at us in turn
Sub B) Because China was mad with us over restrictions, they started a trade war (defined as when countries increase restrictions on imports by each other trying to gain and edge over them)
Sub C) Cooperation with countries is crucial to solving issues like climate change, terrorism, space debris, and more

B. With free trade we would be able to import more materials and export more because exporting things would cost less to companies, meaning they can export without worrying about things like tariffs
Sub A) Every country needs to import materials from other places and exports materials, so economic benefits effect everyone
Sun B) Because prices wouldn't have to be raised to account for tariffs or other restrictions, products using those materials become cheaper
Sub C) Cheaper prices means more people can buy the product and the company can hire more workers, which means more jobs
Debate Round No. 1


Remember: since pro posted arguments in round 1, they should waive round 4.
We trade with countries that use Slavery, child labor, and/or pay their workers measly wages
There are over 45 million slaves in the world still today[2] and China and India are countries with some of the most slaves today[3]. In addition, they both use child labor in production of their goods as well[4] They are countries the US trades with substantially: from China we buy more than 30 billion dollars worth of goods every month[5] and 3 billion dollars worth of goods each month from India [6]. Much of this could have been created from slave labor and child labor, and because we are trading with them, it is essentially permitting them to use slave and child labor. I argue we should not trade with any countries that use abominable work practices such as slave and child labor. In addition, many of the countries we trade with don't even pay their workers enough to survive off of.
Free Trade hurts the jobs we have at home.
While conservative-leaning economists argue that, in theory, "Imports mean lost jobs only if we pretend we can make here all the things we import, the same way and for the same price," the evidence in reality shows the contrary, and:

"Adjustment in local labor markets is remarkably slow, with wages and labor-force participation rates remaining depressed and unemployment rates remaining elevated for at least a full decade after the China trade shock commences. Exposed workers experience greater job churning and reduced lifetime income. At the national level, employment has fallen in U.S. industries more exposed to import competition...but offsetting employment gains in other industries have yet to materialize.

"The study shows that the affected industries and regions 'have been hit hard and have not recovered. Workers in these industries and regions don't go on to better jobs, or even similar jobs in different industries. Instead, they shuffle from low-paid job to low-paid job, never recovering the prosperity they had before Chinese competition hit. Many of them end up on welfare. This is very different from earlier decades, when workers who lost their jobs to import competition usually went into higher-productivity industries, to the benefit of almost everyone.'" [6]
There is evidence we have lost hundreds of thousands of jobs due to trade with Mexico and Korea as well and the promised jobs that were supposed to be created never happened[7] In another study conducted by Jeffrey D. Sachs and Howard J. Shatz of Harvard University , it was found that trade has contributed to over the past 15 years, a "sharp decline of overall employment in manufacturing; the widening of the income inequality between high-skilled and low-skilled workers; and the especially sharp decline in employment in low skill manufacturing sectors" [8]
I believe for these two main reasons, a level of protectionism is necessary for our trade with other nations


Round 4 will be waived, don't worry :)

First, my opponent talks about the slave labor and wages. However, these things will happen regardless of if we trade with them. We may not agree with it, but it's what happens. Also, if we trade with China they will be more willing to listen to the US because of incentives provided by trade, such as the economic benefits they will gain. If we trade freely with China, and then tell them to stop human rights abuses, they will be more likely to listen to us than normal.

Second, he/she talks about how we will lose jobs because of free trade. However, this is not true because all it does is change the jobs we have here, often to better and more successful ones.[1] Also, the problems are in the US economy's inability to adjust to the market fast enough, not trade.[2] Finally, automation is the biggest job killer, not trade.[3]

I won't bring up any new arguments here

Debate Round No. 2


I don't think there's anything for me to rebut in your round 1 argument. I admit there are pros and cons to free trade, I just took the position I did because I believe the cons outweigh the pros.

The only objection I have to what is stated in round 1 is that everything stated there is without evidence.

I suppose I could ask this for your first main reason: why would we want to have good relations with a nation that is diametrically opposed to our way of life? China is much more authoritarian than us, and liberties are restricted there. We could easily put a condition on our trade: we can say: we will trade with you again if you make changes to make your country more democratic, end slavery/child labor, and pay your workers more... it's sad that we would be the ones telling a supposed "socialist" nation to pay their workers better and to get rid of things like child and slave labor lol, this is why I don't consider China to be socialist, that and many other reasons.

I have no objection to your second point though, other than that your claim that cheaper priced means more jobs. My points in round 2 refute that claim already.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 3
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This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Capitalistslave 1 year ago
I'll post in round 2 that we both agree to these standards, or whatever standards that we work out here in the comments, thus the arguments we make would need to be judged, morally, based on these standards.
Posted by Capitalistslave 1 year ago
I just realized there is something we should establish upfront: do you live in a western nation and generally agree with western standards of morals? One of my arguments will rely on morality, and I think this would only apply if you agree to certain aspects of morality within in western nations. These standards would be:
1) Slavery is immoral
2) Child labor is immoral
3) Paying someone below a certain wage is immoral, for the United States, this would be $7.25 an hour since that is the federal minimum wage. It will be different according to which country you live in. so you don't need to agree to the $7.25 amount, but can instead agree to the amount that your country has as a minimum wage.
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