This chapter provides a background on why free trade is considered to be a desirable policy. It explains whether the most frequently made criticisms of free trade, such as its adverse impact on workers and the environment, have merit. It discusses what is the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as how world trade rules erode a country's sovereignty and undermine its health and environmental regulation. The chapter also introduces basic economic principles and empirical evidence regarding international trade and trade policy. It mentions the perspective on free trade that was originally developed by David Hume and Adam Smith in eighteenth-century Scotland.
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