Trade liberalization is the reverse process of protectionism. After previous protectionist decisions, trade liberalization occurs when governments decide to move back toward free trade. Trade liberalization may take place unilaterally. Extensive trade liberalization that occurred among the richer countries in the second half of the twentieth century was however reciprocal and multilateral. Many governments reciprocated each other’s liberalization decisions, and the liberalization was non-discriminatory in applying to all liberalizing trading partners. The trade liberalization was accompanied by liberalization of international capital markets and by substantial international migration, both legal and illegal. International agreements and conventions also unified rules of conduct concerning protection of property rights, including intellectual property rights related to proprietary knowledge. The outcome of these liberalizing and integrating processes is known as globalization. The issues are why or how did globalization occur, and whether the outcome has been good for humanity.


Free Trade Poor Country Trade Liberalization Market Access Rich Country 
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  • Arye Hillman

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