Consequences of imposing trade restrinctions

How does imposing trade restrictions affect a country’s macro economic objectives?

Nowadays all countries need to trade between themselves. Countries always lack of some type of good and the only way they can get them is by importing them from other countries which do produce the desired goods. However, countries many times import products they are able of producing and now, this isnīt a matter of need; itīs a matter of taste in order to give the consumers the possibility to choose.

Both imports and exports contribute, in different ways, to the development of a certain economy, for example the Peruvian one. Nowadays, Peru has an open economy which allows importing and exporting. When a country imports any product it can be because it doesnīt produce it or because it wantīs to give greater variety to certain areas of the market. This last case should be like a stimuli for national producers to produce more and with a better quality and to find ways of having lower costs of production. This aims come to light because, as foreign products enter the market, they may be of a better quality and even cheaper than the national ones. Now, the consumers will have more possibilities to choose from and, it is very probbable that they will choose the cheaper and brand new products. So, if national producers donīt do anything in order to improve thier products, then they will be in danger of going to bankruptcy. As a result of this, the national products have to seek, as I said before, for cheaper costs and better products.

When this occurrs, then national products are ready (or at least have more possibilities) to compete in international markets. Supposedly, now they should have a better quality, they should be cheaper and so, they are ready to be exported. When products are sold at international markets, then this brings more money into the peruvian economy; as exports are like the salary of a country (the most important source of money), then this is very positive for the peruvian economy because we can say that the national income has increased.

So, we have seen how having imports and exports are very benefitial for any country. However, countries many times apply barriers to imports coming into the country in order to protect national products. The most common type of barrier applied are the tariffs. Tariffs are taxes applied to every imported product which comes into the country. In Peru, for example, the tariff rate has two values: one which is 15% of the original price (the most commonly applied) and the other one which is 25% of the original price (rarely applied, only for luxurious goods.) By applying this tariffs, then it may not be very profitable to bring certain products into the country, and, in this way, the national products are able to keep on in the same way, without worrying about having a powerfull competence. This type of barrier may allow certain national companies to keep on being leaders in the national market, even though their products arenīt export quality. So, if they try to export these products, then they wonīt have much luck in foreign markets because here, in their local markets, they havenīt developed really good and relatively cheap goods.

However, nowadays there are many international organisations, like NAFTA, which aim at having a 0% tariff on all the member countries. In this way, there will be no additional value added to the imported products and, so, if national companies arenīt well prepared, then they wonīt be able to compete and, so, they will go to bankruptcy. I think that this type of agreements are good for the companies and their local countries because in the future, where international trade will be even more important than what is now, any enterprise which isnīt prepared to compete internationally wonīt be able to survive. If these non tariff measures start to be applied at the present, then companies will get used to having constant and competent competence and, therefore will not have any problems in the future.

In conclusion, I think that countries which insist on applying tariffs are preventing themselves and their own companies from preparing for the future. In the