Proponents of free trade argue that even if other countries do, imposing import barriers is like shooting yourself in the foot. The opportunity to turn the other plays on the trade barriers of other countries is based on an economic argument due to Adam Smith in the eighteenth century: consumption being the only end of production, the interests of consumers are before the interests of producers, especially those of relatively inefficient producers. This strategy recommends that the U.S. government take no action to offset de facto subsidies granted to domestic consumers when imports are sold at prices below fair value. If Portugal chose to erect barriers to the import of British textiles, its own economy would be less prosperous and it would still be in Britain`s interest to allow the free import of Portuguese wine. While there are many areas in which government policy can generate comparative advantages, many areas continue to apply to traditional assumptions of inherent comparative advantage. What matters is whether the sector is subject to constant or rising costs such as wheat or falling costs, such as cars, planes or semiconductors. A current account surplus or deficit can be influenced by the business cycle. Therefore, if our economy grows rapidly, the demand for imports will increase, as consumers can afford to buy more and businesses need parts and inventory to grow. Similarly, U.S.
exports are influenced by the economic growth of its trading partners. . . . .