Free trade ensures that goods are produced in the country where production requires the fewest resources. In this way more actors will have a stake in a stable international economic order and will cooperate with one another.
Free trade is based on an economic system in which there are clear winners and losers. Capitalism promotes competition between corporations and countries. It is an economic system in need of constant expansion. It breaks through local customs, causes laws to be changed, demands populations conform to its dynamics, and, if left unchecked, will exhaust both human beings and the earths resources. 1
Since trade agreements encourage multi-national corporations to expand their production across borders, it becomes more likely that large corporations will emerge. Such a concentration of capital means a concentration of political power as well. This creates social conflict and conflict that reaches across borders.
1. Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time (Boston: Beacon Hill Press, 1944), 77.