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The factors that limit free trade can be seen in terms of the artificial barriers to trade, and natural barriers to entry.

The artificial barriers to trade refers to protectionism, in which countries implement policies that prevent the import of foreign goods into the country. For example, a country can impose import tariffs to lower the profitability of imports, thus discouraging foreign firms or countries to sell their goods to the country. Consequently, the imposition of protectionism contributes to the presence of trade barriers that will hinder the ease of free trade.

Also, natural barriers to entry will limit free trade. One such natural barriers to entry is the high transportation cost, which will raise the cost of production, such that the price of imported goods and services is relatively higher than the price of domestically-produced goods. Consequently, there will be an increase in consumption of domestic goods and the fall in demand for imported goods, implying that such a natural barriers to entry would hinder free trade.

Simon Ng

Founder, JC Economics & General Paper Tutor at Economics Focus
JC Economics Tutor Simon Ng of Economics Focus has been teaching A Level Economics and A Level General Paper since 2003. Simon set up Economics Focus to assist students in their pursuit of academic excellence at the examination by providing economics tuition for H1 and H2 students. JC1 and JC2 students are inspired by Simon's clear teaching methods that enabled them to comprehend economics terms and concepts. Simon developed the Rational Thinking methodology to aid students to excel in their JC economics essays and CSQs.