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

On Balance Protectionism is a Good Trade Policy

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/8/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 962 times Debate No: 103471
Debate Rounds (4)
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This debate discusses the topic of the protectionism. Pro argues it is beneficial, while con argues it is detrimental.

Burden of Proof
BOP is shared but falls mostly on me.

Round 1- Acceptance
Round 2- Opening Arguments
Round 3- Rebutalls/ More Arguments
Round 4- Rebutalls/ Closing Arguments


Protectionism- the economic policy of restraining trade between states (countries) through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, restrictive quotas, and a variety of other government regulations.

- a tax imposed on exports or imports

Quota- a given limit to an amount of things to be exported or imported

Subsidy- a sum of money granted by the government or a public body to assist an industry or business so that the price of a commodity or service may remain low or competitive.

Thank you to anyone who accepts, and good luck.



I accept. Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1


Only One Point
I really only have 1 point worth addressing in this round, so here it is:

So, here it is. Let us look at things from the perspective of a businessman. From his viewpoint, the main world concern is money. So he will do nearly whatever he can to save money.

Now consider this. You must pay someone the minimum wage in the US. Currently, that is $7.25[1]. So, let us pretend we are manufacturing a $100 product. We can pay someone $10 an hour in the US, whereas (1 of many examples) we can pay someone less than a dollar in China[2].

This means the man can send the product there and return it home tariff free, fueling that country economy. For that reason, China is currently doing astronomically well in terms of GDP growth.

How do we fix this?

1st, not only have free trade deals (the opposite of protectionism) been shown to fail (TPP), but tariffs are a key and essential part of the protectionist concept.

Place a tariff slightly above the minimum wage on the businessman and they will switch. Why? They save money. No matter how minuscule that amount is, it is still quite prevalent.

With that switch, the business executives are fueling American jobs and not China's or somebody else's. Instead of outsourcing to other countries, protectionism allows for a grand expansion of the national economy by encouraging development of local products.

Thank you- as those were just my opening arguments, I will argue in more depth next round.




Thank you for instigating and good luck! I will be arguing against protectionism and tariffs.

Harms the Poor

Protectionism does not allow Americans or anybody to get the cheapest product that they desire and are now forced to buy something more expensive just because it is made in America. The rich can afford to buy something marginally more expensive but often times the poor cannot. Denying the right for poor people to buy the cheapest products that they desire only creates more harm for them.

Tyrannical and a restriction of freedom

This argument is self-explanatory. The government has no right to prevent its citizens from buying the products that they desire. Protectionism accompanied by tariffs and quotas essentially is forcing people to buy things at higher costs solely because it is made in America. There is not such a force with regards to free trade. It doesn’t tell citizens that they are prohibited from buying products that are made in America. It leaves the decisions to the citizens and the consumers and rightly so.

Free Trade

Although the focus of this debate is protectionism, it is necessary to address the merits of free trade. Free trade redirects money to the most efficient industries across the globe. Hindering this would be non-sensical. By punishing efficiency, you are also preventing it. The only way to ensure that the domestic industry can be most efficient is to create an incentive for them to be most efficient. The way to achieve this is completion. Tariffs do the exact opposite and restrict this competition.

Kills Jobs

Proponents of tariffs argue that the opposite is true and that tariffs actually save jobs. This is only true for industries that would otherwise be put out of business due to free market competition. It is not beneficial to the country to keep inefficient industries. This is a regressive policy. The only way to ensure progress in an economy is for the most efficient industries to remain while the less efficient ones to be naturally removed by competition. In addition, besides promoting inefficiency tariffs remove money from the profitable and efficient businesses which is once again a regressive policy. As a result the quality of goods decline or at the very least stagnate. Let’s look at an example for the 2009 tariffs on tires: 1,200 manufacturing jobs were saved which is what I am sure would be a positive for Pro’s case. But when one looks at the full consequences one will find that 2,500 retail jobs were lost as a result in addition to higher costs of tires for consumers [1].

It must be noted that under the policy of either free trade or tariffs some jobs will be preserved while others will be lost. It cannot be denied however that there are $20 billion worth of exports a year in the United States. Various jobs accompany this. Protectionism would not only be detrimental to these workers but also to the consumers because of the higher prices that emerge which I will elaborate on in the coming rounds. But when it comes to jobs 20 American jobs are destroyed for every 16 saved [2]. Very simply put, this is clearly a net loss in jobs due to protectionist policy.

These are my opening arguments for now. I look forward to adding to them as well as addressing my opponent’s arguments in the following rounds.




Debate Round No. 2


I must forfeit this round due to personal events.

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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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