Free Trade

Free Trade was inspired by the writings of Adam Smith; and Ricardo’s theory that the cost of the things we buy is the result of the amount of labour it takes to make them. British manufacturers in the age of Jane  Austen before Victoria came to the throne had the advantage of the industrial revolution and so could make products more cheaply than the countries they exported to free of price increasing tariffs. Today free trade maintains the view that labour determines cost, but now not because of improved means of production but by locating cheap labour whose products are imported and sold free of the unnecessary added  expense of government tariffs.

“The open door for migration, capital investment, and markets was the essential demand of British shippers, factory-owners, and financiers in the nineteenth century. It was the creed natural to any people which has great natural advantages and a long lead in methods of production. Free competition is of most value to those who need not fear any competition.”(England In The Nineteenth Century 1815-1914 . By David Thomson; Penguin Books,1950; p.27)