What Are Some Pros and Cons of International Trade?

International trade may help countries improve their own economies as well as those of other nations involved in business transactions, but it can also heavily favor large companies, leaving small businesses without a market. Global or international trade, such as commerce and sales at the national level, may help organizations expand their networks, reach new consumers and contribute to significant economic growth. However, international trade may also put small companies, such as family-owned and local operations, at a disadvantage as they cannot reach the same volume of consumers and provide competitive prices.

In addition to helping countries improve their economies, engaging in international commerce allows participating nations to set prices and regulations that are agreeable to all. Establishment of a regulatory framework requires teamwork and cooperation; this, in turn, promotes good political relations among trading nations. International trade may also help the economies of all nations involved: it opens a new market for countries selling goods and provides jobs and items that consumers in recipient nations need. However, global trade may also contribute to environmental harm because the production and transportation of goods and products requires fuel-powered planes and cargo ships for transportation. Lastly, global trade may benefit entire societies, but at the expense of smaller organizations, leading to market domination by the largest and most powerful firms.