So as things stand there is massive international trade protectionism employed by the developed 1st world, especially by the US and Europe. The US government employs probably the most wide ranging and 'costly' (for it's trading partners) suite of protective measures to prop up domestic industry. Agriculture and manufacturing protection account for the lion's share of the pie, as to a large extent these services can be provided for cheaper elsewhere. Europe's main receipiant of subsidies is agriculture. They get a whopping percentage of the EU's entire budget. However, manufacturing still gets a look in here too. Many other countries governments also try and do their best for 'important' local industry if they can. Obviously the extent to which these measures may be effective is largely based on the financial clout of the country or trading block in question. Sometimes in certain markets the commodity in question may be rare, or otherwise special enough to bend these rules in favour of the small, but on the whole, across most of the planet the rich get richer, and the poor generally stay poorish compared to them, and - hopefully - slowly everything gets better for everyone as the average standard of living across the entire population of the world gets better. Ideally we can push a greater and greater percentage closer to the top of the 'quality of life' tree, but greed, the restricted availibility of energies and shortsighted economics often restrict this process. Some people feel the current policies of western governments are now overly protectionist and distorting to the world economy and are damaging overall growth and long term viability as a result. This brings us to the question: Would some degree of removal of trade protectionism on the part of everyone, especially and more heavily those who benefitfrom it most be beneficial to the world economy in general, and achieving our goal of dragging more people into higher standards of living faster?