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 The former president leaves in his wake a GOP less supportive of free trade and a hawkish foreign policy and more skeptical of big business and immigration. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "McConnell takes aim at GOP 'John Birch Society' problem to avoid 2022 backlash," 4 Feb. 2021 Under Trump, the Republican Party fully embraced the populist wave set in motion by the Tea Party rebels in earlier years, shifting its focus from free trade and trickle-down economics to trade wars and an isolationist foreign policy. Jill Colvin And Zeke Miller,, "Donald Trump’s rise defied gravity. What comes after his apparent fall?," 7 Nov. 2020 In November, the countries met in China’s capital and formally signed what is now the world’s largest regional free trade pact, covering nearly a third of humanity. Charles Hankla, The Conversation, "Why Biden will find it hard to undo Trump’s costly ‘America first’ trade policy," 4 Dec. 2020 Britain left the free trade bloc at the end of January but immediately entered into an 11-month transition period that has kept everything unchanged. Eshe Nelson, New York Times, "Brexit Is Nipping at London’s Role as a Financial Powerhouse," 27 Nov. 2020 It is not expected to go as far as the European Union in integrating member economies but does build on existing free trade arrangements. NBC News, "China and 14 other countries agree to set up world's largest trading bloc," 15 Nov. 2020 It is not expected to go as far as the European Union in integrating member economies but does build on existing free trade arrangements. Elaine Kurtenbach, The Christian Science Monitor, "America First? China leads Asia into biggest free-trade deal.," 15 Nov. 2020 Johnson hailed it as a victory for his Brexit approach -- taking a tougher stance than predecessor Theresa May and dismissing concerns that Britain was asking for too much from Brussels by demanding both independence and free trade. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Boris Johnson says UK has 'taken back control' after securing post-Brexit trade deal with EU," 25 Dec. 2020 But like Michigan, Wisconsin had seen a fracturing of the liberal power base through deindustrialization, free trade deals backed by Washington Democrats and a weakening of labor union influence. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Watch these nine states in the US election," 19 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for free trade

Time Traveler

The first known use of free trade was in 1766

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Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Free trade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

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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

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