Chichi Ai Level 2 asked 2014-06-16

U.S. trade policies may (or may not) influence foreign policy.? 1

Question Category: North America Views: 61100

President Jefferson and his use of an embargo (prohibiting US ships to sail to foreign countries) to persuade them to stop seizing American ships. Do you think this is an effective tactic to stop these actions? What do you think?

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  • Jordan Coakley 2014-06-16 Best Answer

    While international trade and trade policy continue to be as controversial as ever, the United States has been committed for more than half a century to maintaining an open market. It was not always that way. For most of U.S. history, the United States imposed fairly substantial barriers to imports in an effort to protect domestic producers from foreign competition
    Indeed, as president, Jefferson was responsible for one of the most unusual policy experiments in the history of U.S. trade policy. At his request, Congress imposed a nearly complete embargo on international commerce from December 1807 to March 1809. The Jeffersonian trade embargo provides a rare opportunity (or natural experiment) to observe the effects of a nearly complete (albeit short-lived) elimination of international trade. Economists usually describe the gains from international trade by comparing welfare at a free-trade equilibrium with welfare at an autarky equilibrium. In practice, such a comparison is almost never feasible because the autarky equilibrium is almost never observed, except in unique cases such as this one. By mid-1808, the United States was about as close to being fully shut off from international commerce as it has ever been during peacetime.
    https://www.nber.org/reporter/summer06/i...

    So you see, it was a mistake and it lasted only for two years. This tactic did not prove itself and if you read the whole interesting article you will see what happened since then to the American Trade. Of course such tactics do not help foreign policy and this is quite obvious. When you boycott other countries for whichever reason, they react accordingly.

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