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Tariffs

France was a practitioner of commercial protectionism, which is the economic


policy of restraining trade between other nations through the use of tariffs on
imported goods and other government regulations. The tariffs would increase the
cost for importers and increase the market price of their goods thus lowering the
amount of goods imported to better benefit domestic producers.

Advantages

While such a policy may not seem beneficial to foreign investors, it provides
two important benefits. Firstly, to facilitate fair competition between imported and
domestically produced goods. Most of the time, imported goods from foreign
countries are likely to be of higher quality than the goods that are produced locally,
tariffs help to reduce competition for local businesses as consumers can either
decide to buy a good that is cheap but of lower quality or one that is more expensive
but of higher quality.
More importantly, if currently existing tariffs in place are reduced, it is highly
likely, that a serious economic recession would take place within the next few years.
This is because a reduction in tariffs would expose France to the growing worldwide
competition for markets which their agricultural and industrial producers would be
unable to meet.
Additionally, the repealing of the Corns Law in recent years, and a hands off
policy implemented by the government in the economy now, also known as laissezfaire in the United Kingdom could lead France to also abolish the tariff system which
could encourage foreign markets to invest in Frances economy.

Disadvantages
The high protective tariffs set up by France have stifled innovation that could
have arisen from the foreign competition it reduced. From the customs point of view
finally, encouraged by the liberal economists and free-traders lobbies, like the

industrialists of the silk or the representatives of the vine growing, the mode wants to
reconsider the severe protectionism of the Restoration, but runs up against the
interests of the iron and steel industry, which fears to face the competition of English
steels and ruins a project of customs union with Belgium in 1841. Additionally, the
repealing of the Corns Law in recent years, and a hands off policy implemented by
the government in the economy now, also known as laissez-faire in the United
Kingdom could lead France to also abolish the tariff system which could encourage
foreign markets to invest in Frances economy.

The French rended to regard commerce as a threat, not an opportunity. After timid attempts at liberalization, they
turned to full-blown protectionism in the 1880s onwards. These contrasting and enduring positions are often
seen as the result of deep historical forces. An empire with a huge empire and a liberal economy was always
going to be more open to the world than a Continental power that had developed a siege mentality under royal
and imperial absolutism.

On the other hand, Liberals, inspired by Adam Smith, imagined a solution in laissez-faire
and the end of tariffs, which the United Kingdom, the dominant European power, had
started in 1846 with the repeal of the Corn Laws.
From the customs point of view finally, encouraged by the liberal economists and free-traders lobbies, like the
industrialists of the silk or the representatives of the vine growing, the mode wants to reconsider the severe
protectionism of the Restoration, but runs up against the interests of the iron and steel industry, which fears to
face the competition of English steels and ruins a project of customs union with Belgium in 1841.

The foreign market did little to increase this demand because France exported only 8
percent of its manufactured products until the 1840s. High protective tariffs until the
1860s reduced foreign competition that might have stimulated innovation.