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Must protectionism always violate rights?

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Explores the question of whether protectionist policies must always violate someone's rights, or whether it is possible to have a protectionist policy that does not violate rights. Discusses the weaknesses of a utilitarian approach to trade theory, then goes on to examine the major forms of protectionism, including tariffs, quotas, anti-dumping laws, and the deliberate manipulation of exchange rates. Discusses rights and makes a distinction between positive and negative rights. Applies rights theory to trade policy and concludes that protectionism necessarily violates someone's rights to property, contract or association - unless it is done on a voluntary basis.
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Keywords: Protectionism; Rights Issues; Trade Barriers

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1997

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