[PDF Notes] What are the Merits of Protection Method of Economy Policy?

Protection is also advocated on the following non-economic arguments:

1. Defence Argument:

Tariffs are necessary in order to develop national defence industries. Though economically such industries may be unjustified, but their existence and development is of critical importance particularly in war times.

National security is even more important than economic prosperity. As Adam Smith says. “Defence is better than opulence.” Thus, the defence industrises must be developed behind the wall of protection.

2. Nationalist Argument:

Protection is also justified on the nationalist ground. The spirit of patriotism requires that every citizen of the country should prefer home made (swadeshi) goods to imported goods.

Such nationalist feelings give a good boost to the development of domestic industries and necessitate restrictions on imports through protective measures as well as encouragement to import substitution.

3. Preservation Argument:

Protection is also advocated in some countries to preserve certain classes of population or certain occupations. For example, agriculturists and farming occupation should be preserved on political and social grounds.

The basic argument is that the agriculturist community is the backbone of the society and, therefore, the interests of agriculturists should be preserved by imposing tariff duties on the import of cheap food grains. In England, for instance, ‘Corn Laws’ imposed tariff in 1819 on the import of wheat.

4. To Check Import of Harmful Goods:

Tariffs may be imposed to check the import of harmful and socially undesirable goods. The consumption of certain commodities such as alcoholic beverages, tobacco, etc. is detrimental to the health of the people. Therefore, the import of such goods should be restricted.

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