Trade restrictions certainly help governments to support domestic companies from the overwhelming pressure of foreign manufacturers. Despite the existence of the free international trade, every country imposes certain restrictions on imported goods and their quantity thus boosting the domestic economy. The advantages of such protectionist policy are evident: domestic business sector will thrive and continue to expand even if the competition is tough. But protectionism also has its flip side. Under the trade tariffs and quotas, consumers have to choose from a narrow range of products that are equally expensive. Therefore, consumers artificially support businesses that would turn bankrupt under the free trade.
Worldwide, the free trade is considered to boost global production, consumption, and efficiency of economic relations. Consumers clearly benefit when they can purchase goods of desirable quality at a fair price, even if the products are imported. People are hardly interested in purchasing domestic goods of an average quality at a high price. Nevertheless, the protectionist policy can be reasonable when we need to develop infant industries, protect jobs during the recession, or provide higher national security.
As nations develop unevenly, infant industries emerge. At first, they are small and non-competitive as compared to foreign industries, but still, they need to develop. At this point, implementing temporary tariffs on import is essential for the new industry not to be suppressed by foreign competitors. In case of war, countries may decide to break trade agreements with the parties to the conflict. Trade restrictions are also essential during the recession. If things in the job market went entirely wrong, the government needs to prevent people from losing jobs by restricting import too.