Trade Liberalization

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DEFINITION of 'Trade Liberalization'

The removal or reduction of restrictions or barriers on the free exchange of goods between nations. This includes the removal or reduction of both tariff (duties and surcharges) and non-tariff obstacles (like licensing rules, quotas and other requirements). The easing or eradication of these restrictions is often referred to as promoting "free trade."

BREAKING DOWN 'Trade Liberalization'

Those against trade liberalization claim that it can cost jobs and even lives, as cheaper goods flood the market (which at times may not undergo the same quality and safety checks required domestically). Proponents, however, say that trade liberalization ultimately lowers consumer costs, increases efficiency and fosters economic growth.

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