Free Trade, Or Free Trade “Agreements” (Actually, “Fair” Trade)

Dear Federico:

I favor full free trade, but not “free trade” agreements. See below for some readings on this.

Best regards,


Subject: Free Trade Agreement and China

Hi Professor Block. I would like to know your opinion on the Free Trade Agreement and NAFTA signed by the government.

I watched this short clip from Sir James Goldsmith and he claims it’s the free trade agreement which is to blame for us losing jobs here in the west but is he right?. Our own governments are to blame for having a high min wage, regulations etc which forces companies abroad, free trade is good.

In China, you can’t fully own a business if you’re not a Chinese citizen and you need to be approved by the Chinese government. But can the people from China own a American business?, for sure they can. This free trade agreement is a scam.

Anderson, 1999; Barron, 2017; Bastiat, 1848A, 1848B; Block, 1976, ch. 23, 2013, ch. 2, 2018;  Block, Horton and Walker, 1998; Boudreaux, 2010, 2016A, 2016B, 2017; Brandly, 2002; Brown, 1987; DiLorenzo, 2018; Ebeling, 2018; Epstein, 2016; Folsum, 1996; Friedman and Friedman, 1997; Gwartney, et. al, 1976; Hazlitt, 1946, ch. 11; Higgs, 2019; Johnsson, 2004; Krasnozhon, Simpson and Block, 2015; Landsburg, 2008; McGee, 1994A, 1994B; McMaken, 2016; Mises, 1927;  Mullen, 2015; Murphy, 2004; Ricardo, 1821; Roberts, 2016; Rothbard, 2005; Rouanet, 2016; Smith, 1776; Vance, 2016; Wenzel, 2018A, 2018B; Williams, 2017A, 2017B

Anderson, William L. 1999. “Tariffs Are Sanctions.” December 17;

Barron, Patrick. 2017. Two Common Objections to Unilateral Free Trade.” April 6;

Bastiat, Frederic. 1848A. “The Balance of Trade.”

Bastiat, Frederic. 1848B [2018]. “Must Free Trade Be Reciprocal?” March 14;

Block, Walter, Joseph Horton and Debbie Walker. 1998. “The Necessity of Free Trade,” Journal of Markets and Morality, Vol. 1, No. 2, October, pp. 192-200

Block, Walter E. 2008 [1976]. Defending the Undefendable. Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute; available for free here:

Block, Walter E. 2013. Defending the Undefendable II: Freedom in all realms; Terra Libertas Publishing House; isbn: 978-1-908089-37-3; ;

Block, Walter E. 2018. “The case for punishing those responsible for minimum wage laws, rent control and protectionist tariffs.”  Revista Jurídica Cesumar – Mestrado, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 235-263;

Brandly, Mark. 2002. “A Primer on Trade.” November, 4;

Boudreaux, Donald J.  2010. “On Trade and Currency Manipulation.” January 5;

Boudreaux, Donald J.  2016A. “Should Gates clean his own toilets?” August 9;

Boudreaux, Donald J.  2016B. “On Being Too Rigid & Dogmatic & Inflexible on Free Trade.” December 19;

Boudreaux, Don. 2017. “Trump’s Ignorance Is Matched Only by His Thuggishness.” January 3;

Brandly, Mark. 2002. “A Primer on Trade.” November, 4;

Brown, Pamela J. 1987. “Free Thought and Free Trade: The Analogy Between Scientific and Entrepreneurial Discovery Process,” The Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer, pp. 289-292;

DiLorenzo, Thomas J. 2018. “Trade and the Rise of Freedom.” March 7;

Ebeling, Richard. 2018. “Trump’s protectionist follies threaten a trade war.” March 5;

Epstein, Richard A. 2016. “The Rise of American Protectionism.” March 14;

Folsum, Jr., Burton W.  1996. The Industrial Revolution and Free Trade

Friedman, Milton and Rose Friedman. 1997. “The Case for Free Trade.” Hoover Digest No. 4.

Gwartney, James, Robert Lawson and Walter E. Block. 1996. Economic Freedom of the World, 1975-1995, Vancouver, B.C.: The Fraser Institute

Hazlitt, Henry. 2008 [1946]. Economics in One Lesson. Auburn, AL: Mises Institute;;

Higgs, Robert. 2019. “What is This Mystical Magnetism that Nationalism Exerts on So Many Americans?” February 4;

Johnsson, Richard C.B. 2004. “On Ricardo and Free Trade.” January 12;

Krasnozhon, Leo, David Simpson and Walter E. Block. 2015. “Fair trade: Its Real Impact on the Working Poor.” The Review of Social and Economic Issues (RSEI). Vol. 1, No. 2, Spring, pp- 5-28;; translation by ‘Alexandru Butiseacă’

Landsburg, Steven E. 2008. “What to Expect When You’re Free Trading.” The NY Times. January 16;

McGee, Robert W., 1994A. A Trade Policy for Free Societies: The Case Against Protectionism, Quorum Books.

McGee, Robert W. 1994B. “The Fatal Flaw in NAFTA, GATT and All Other Trade Agreements,” Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business, Vol. 14, No. 3, 549-565.

McMaken, Ryan. 2016. “To Oppose Free Trade Is To Embrace Violence.”

Mises, Ludwig von. Mises, Ludwig von. 1927. Liberalism: In the Classical Tradition. Auburn, AL: the Mises Institute;

Mullen, Tom. 2015. “Trump’s Protectionist Fallacies Have Been Refuted By Free Market Economists for Hundreds of Years.” August 31;

Murphy, Robert P. 2004. “Can Trade Bring Poverty?” December 24;

Ricardo, David. 1821 [1912]. The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, 3rd ed., London: J. M. Dent

Roberts, Russ. 2016. “The Human Side of Trade.” December 11;

Rothbard, Murray N. 2005. Protectionism and the Destruction of Prosperity. Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute;

Rouanet, Louis. 2016. “The Case for Unilateral Free Trade.” October 13;

Smith, Adam. [1776] 1979. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund

Vance, Laurence. 2016. “Free trade is fair trade.” June 1;

Wenzel, Robert. 2018. “Pat Buchanan: Foundationtional War Hawk.” March 8;

Wenzel, Robert. 2018. “Most Pro-Tariff and Anti-Tariff Supporters Use the Same Dumb Argument.” March 9;

Williams, Walter E. 2017A. “International Trade Thuggery.”  January 18;

Williams, Walter E. 2017B. “Trade Ignorance and Demagoguery.”  May 5;


3:06 am on July 25, 2020