According to the World Trade Organization, the chief advantage to importing products is an increase in market choices. With the importation of products, local markets can improve the variety of their offerings, providing consumers with goods that are either not available locally or items that can serve as competition to locally produced goods.
With competition increasing due to imports, local producers are often forced to lower the costs of their goods to remain competitive. Consumers directly benefit from the lower costs of products. Manufacturers can benefit by coming up with new ways to compete, such as by improving the production process to lower costs. Importing products such as raw materials or unfinished goods can also raise local productivity by allowing a greater variety in what can be produced. Imported raw materials that are unavailable locally can lead to production of new products for the local marketplace or for export. Imports of finished good can also lead local producers to begin local manufacture of that good to increase availability or to provide a lower costing activity. Importation of products spreads technology, reducing the costs of local research and development and the need to build a local support infrastructure for newer products.