free trade


Definition of free trade

: trade based on the unrestricted international exchange of goods with tariffs used only as a source of revenue

Examples of free trade in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Uncertain times Since his presidential campaign, Trump has been critical of free trade deals and claims the U.S. is being treated unfairly. Allison Kite, kansascity, "‘In a trade war, everyone loses.’ What Trump’s tariffs mean for Missouri," 2 July 2018 The industry statement follows warnings from manufacturers Airbus, Siemen, and BMW that leaving the EU without a comprehensive free trade deal would hurt British businesses and cost jobs. Jill Lawless,, "Key UK Brexit bill becomes law as car industry warns of harm," 26 June 2018 This includes ruling out access to the EU’s single market for financial institutions any better than equivalence and insisting that the U.K. can obtain only an agreement similar to the EU’s free trade deal with Canada. Ian Wishart,, "Brexit Talks Sidestep Thorny Issues as Work Starts on Future," 4 May 2018 Whatever the outcome of the latest negotiations, Trump’s bullying is a striking contrast to the 1988 Canada-U.S. free trade agreement. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s NAFTA facelift would mark an ugly ‘win’ for America," 28 Aug. 2018 But just like tariffs, the policies embedded in free trade agreements, as practiced by both parties, creates winners and losers. David Dayen, The New Republic, "The Inevitable Death of Global Trade As We Know It," 12 July 2018 Whether by design or serendipity, tough talk and blunt action have provided Mr. Trump with a series of opportunities to advance the cause of free trade more consequentially than his recent predecessors. Robert Porter, WSJ, "Trump’s Big Trade Opening," 14 Mar. 2019 Photo: Jason Alden/Bloomberg News A confab for the global elite, the World Economic Forum celebrates open markets and free trade. Deborah Ball, WSJ, "Executives in Davos Put Brave Face on Jittery Mood," 22 Jan. 2019 The president jettisoned a free trade agreement with Pacific Rim nations last year, and has threatened to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Trump slaps steep tariffs on hundreds of Chinese products," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'free trade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of free trade

1766, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for free trade

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for free trade

The first known use of free trade was in 1766

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More Definitions for free trade

free trade


English Language Learners Definition of free trade

: a system of trade between nations in which there are no special taxes placed on imports

More from Merriam-Webster on free trade Encyclopedia article about free trade

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incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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