Is free trade fair?
‘where you stand, depends on where you sit’, what is your opinion here, has it ‘benefitted’ all caribbean island economy?
Q1) Free trade is fair as long as it offers the local consumers access to wide range of products thus increasing the economic activity in the country. In addition, the country can export the goods it produces the most to another country, which does not produce the same thus ensuring both the countries get fruits of the free trade.
Free trade is unfair where countries push products that are also plentiful in the importing country. This will result in decrease in sale of homegrown goods.
Free trade should be mutual depending on the requirements of the countries.
Q2) Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA) was formed by the Caribbean islands in 1965 in order to strengthen together their economies by encouraging free trade among the islands, which is essentially a reduction of trade barriers like tariffs on imports etc. As most of the islands are heavily dependent on revenues from tariffs, the governments decided to retain the tariffs, which resulted in closing the association.
However, this resulted in formation of Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which is a common market for the trade, and purchase of various goods. The objective of this association was to promote economic integration and cooperation among the member countries. This has benefitted all the Caribbean island economy providing the ability to work as a single economy.