Arguments for protectionism fall into the economic category (trade harms the economy or groups in the economy) or the moral category (the effects of trade can help the economy, but have negative effects in other areas). A general argument against free trade is that it represents colonialism or imperialism in disguise. The moral category is broad, including concerns about:[best source needed] Socialists often reject free trade on the grounds that it allows maximum exploitation of workers by capital. For example, Karl Marx wrote in the Communist Manifesto (1848): „The bourgeoisie […] created that unique and unscrupulous freedom – free trade. In a word, for exploitation, obscured by religious and political illusions, it has replaced naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation. Marx, however, supported free trade only because he believed it would accelerate the social revolution.  Historically, openness to free trade increased significantly from 1815 until the outbreak of the First World War. Trade openness increased again in the 1920s, but collapsed during the Great Depression (especially in Europe and North America). Trade openness increased again significantly from the 1950s (albeit with a slowdown during the oil crisis of the 1970s).
Economists and economic historians say that the current opening of trade is higher than ever.    In March 1801, Pope Pius VII ordered a certain liberalization of trade in order to counter the economic crisis in the Papal States with the Motu proprio Le più colte. Nevertheless, the export of domestic corn was banned in order to guarantee the food of the Papal States. This statement uses the concept of absolute advantage to make an argument against mercantilism, the dominant view of trade at the time, which stipulated that a country should export more than it should import and thus accumulate wealth.  Instead, Smith said, countries could benefit from each country producing only the goods for which it is best suited and acting with each other if necessary for consumption purposes. In this sense, it is not the value of exports relative to that of imports that is important, but the value of goods produced by a nation. However, the concept of absolute benefit does not refer to a situation in which a country has no advantage in the production of a particular good or type of goods.  The debate on the impact of NAFTA on signatory countries continues. While the U.S., Canada, and Mexico have all experienced economic growth, higher wages, and increased trade since nafta`s introduction, experts disagree on the extent to which the agreement has actually contributed to these gains, if any, in U.S.
manufacturing jobs, immigration, and consumer goods prices. The results are difficult to isolate, and over the past quarter century, other important developments have taken place on the continent and around the world. According to Paul Bairoch, the United States has been „the hotbed and bastion of modern protectionism” since the late 18th century. In fact, the United States never joined free trade until 1945. For the most part, the Jeffersonians firmly rejected it. In the 19th century, statesmen like Senator Henry Clay pursued Alexander Hamilton`s themes within the Whig party under the name of the American system. The opposition Democratic Party participated in several elections in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s, in part on the issue of tariffs and industry protection.  The Democratic Party was in favor of moderate tariffs that were only used for government revenues, while the Whigs favored higher protective tariffs to protect preferred industries. Economist Henry Charles Carey became one of the leading proponents of the American economic system. This Mercantilist American system was fought by the Democratic Party of Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, James K. Polk, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan.
George considers the general free trade argument to be inadequate. He argues that the abolition of protective tariffs alone is never enough to improve the situation of the working class unless it is accompanied by a shift to land value tax.  Or it could have a policy that exempts certain products from duty-free status in order to protect domestic manufacturers from foreign competition in their industries. Many classical liberals, particularly in 19th and early 20th century Britain (e.g., John Stuart Mill.B) and in the United States for much of the 20th century (e.g. B, Henry Ford and Secretary of State Cordell Hull), believed that free trade promoted peace. Woodrow Wilson incorporated the rhetoric of free trade into his 1918 „Fourteen Points” speech: trade agreements are usually unilateral, bilateral or multilateral. First, the customs duties and other rules maintained in each of the Parties to a free trade area and applicable to trade with non-Contracting Parties to such a free trade area at the time of the formation of such a free trade area are no more restrictive than the corresponding duties and other rules which existed in the same Contracting Parties before the formation of the free trade area. In other words, the creation of a free trade area to grant preferential treatment to its members is legitimate under WTO law, but parties to a free trade area must not treat non-contracting parties worse than before the creation of the territory. A second requirement set out in Article XXIV is that tariffs and other barriers to trade must be removed for all trade within the free trade area.  It should be noted that by meeting the origin criteria, there is a difference in treatment between inputs within and outside a free trade agreement. Normally, inputs originating in one Party to the Free Trade Agreement are considered to originate in the other Party if they are included in the manufacturing process of that other Party. Sometimes the production costs incurred in one party are also considered to be those incurred in another party.
In preferential rules of origin, such a difference in treatment is generally provided for in the determination of cumulation or cumulation. Such a clause also explains the impact of a free trade agreement mentioned above on the creation of trade flows and the diversion of trade, since a party to a free trade agreement has an incentive to use inputs from another party to acquire originating status.  The second way in which free trade agreements are viewed as public goods is related to the trend towards their „deepening”. The depth of a free trade agreement refers to the additional types of structural policies it covers. While older trade agreements are considered „flatter” because they cover fewer areas (such as tariffs and quotas), recent agreements deal with a number of other areas, from services to e-commerce to data localization. Since transactions between parties to a free trade agreement are relatively cheaper than transactions with non-contracting parties, free trade agreements are traditionally considered excludable. Now that deep trade agreements will improve regulatory harmonization and increase trade flows with non-parties, thereby reducing the exclusionability of free trade agreements, next-generation free trade agreements will acquire essential characteristics of public goods.  This theoretical deficiency has been corrected by the theory of comparative advantage. Generally attributed to David Ricardo, who developed it in his 1817 book On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, he advocated free trade based not on the absolute benefit of producing a good, but on the relative opportunity cost of production.