What is international economic trade?
To illustrate this concept, let’s travel back to the 16th century, when European powers founded their empires. After establishing themselves in a solid way, their explorers sailed the world and discovered new lands to colonize.
The common belief that the conquerors subjugated the natives so that those empires could take whatever they wanted is inaccurate.
Marco Polo may have bought products in such a bazaar, but it is not considered the beginning of international trade.
Policies were put in place to ensure that the natives did not trade with any other nation, that the natives carried only ships flying the flag of the mother country, and that the natives did not take any initiative to manufacture or produce goods from which they could benefit themselves.
In exchange for the natives’ acquiescence to these terms, their goods would have lower tariffs or, in some cases, would be declared duty-free. The lack of agreement meant that the natives would be forced to hand over the reward of their lands without any benefit.
That was the beginning of international trade.
Marco Polo had traveled the Silk Road a couple of centuries earlier with oriental products to sell, a fact that some might consider the first forays into international trade, but he was a single person making trade deals for himself.
Towards the end of the 16th century, economic trade found its fulcrum between countries / empires, as well as with poorer nations becoming colonies, whose terms of trade were one-sided, with most of the profit going to richer nations. .
That trading system lasted for more than 300 years, until the fractured states of Europe brought about the evolution of trade.
Napoleon had decimated the German lands; At the beginning of the 19th century, there were only about 40 German states, mostly non-contiguous, that somehow had to trade with each other. They established the world’s first Customs Union, thus removing internal economic and political barriers that hindered trade.
One hundred years after the Germans established their union, Luxembourg established an agreement with Belgium called the Belgian-Luxembourg Economic Union, which was later expanded to include the Netherlands. Thus, the Benelux Economic Union was born in 1948.
About a year and a half later, those trading partners aimed to remove any barriers to trade, effectively becoming the world’s first free trade agreement , but they soon ran into trouble.
Economic competition and cooperation can add value to the currencies of individual nations.
The Dutch had much stricter price controls , so they disagreed with the liberal economic system of their trading partners. In addition, the Dutch were shown reluctant to provide access to the free market of agricultural products, but by far, the biggest problem was that their economies were competitive, not complementary.
The problems these nations encountered in the world’s first multilateral trade agreement are the same as those facing countries around the world today: unequal goals, unequal access to markets, and unfair distribution of benefits, real and unfair. perceived.
International economic trade represents the mutually beneficial and profitable agreements made between entities, be they individual countries or nations united under one banner. These agreements are generally negotiated by politicians and / or diplomats.