By Josh Colver
Free Trade is good economic policy to follow, but it’s almost just as important to foreign policy. According to Webster the definition of free trade is “international trade left to its natural course without tariffs, quotas, or other restrictions.”
Free trade is a good thing. It’s beneficial to the United States, and it’s beneficial to the rest of the world. When American products are allowed to compete with the rest of the world, it lowers the prices and increases the quality of the goods. Trade is also a crucial tool in foreign policy. When we trade with other countries, it builds a foundation for friendship and good relations. I think Thomas Jefferson has the best advice for us: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations...entangling alliances with none.” We need to start trading with countries that are not typically our friends; we need to start trading with Cuba, Iran, and North Korea. If we can start trading with these nations, we can ease the tensions that we have faced in the past. Take for example Vietnam. 40 years ago we invaded and fought against Vietnam when they were our enemy. Now we trade with Vietnam and have diplomatic relations with them. When countries trade with each other, this allows them to build trust between each other.
It also creates a disincentive to go to war, because if Iran or North Korea is getting an essential good or service from us, they are less likely to wage war. They wouldn’t want to risk losing an important part of their economy from us and many other countries around the world who are allied with us. So, if we wish to relieve tensions between our enemies and help foster goodwill towards each other, we need free trade.