Incarcerated Writers Series: International Trade

This series features writing from inmates at the El Paso County Jail. The articles stem from weekly programming facilitated by the Colorado College Prison Project. This series aims to simultaneously broaden the CC perception of incarceration issues and provide a platform for incarcerated writers. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office requires approval of written material prior to publication and the removal of authors’ last names.


As far as international trade goes, governments should regulate imports and exports with the influence of citizens’ input. The government should not have free reign without correction from its people in any department. Any governments’ citizens should be able to have knowledge of what is imported or the ability to influence control of allowable imports. Not forgetting to mention what is shipped out could impact the influence that country has on the rest of the world and influence how the rest of the world might perceive the country. So, a country’s citizens should definitely have input on the business conducted across its borders, with the governing authority controlling.

The international shipping industry needs to be regulated and overseen for many reasons, as far as its management of hazardous materials and chemicals and their shipping and packing methods, to types of shipping vessels along with their worthiness. Oil tankers may leak as they cross the ocean, which should not be allowed; they should not be deemed seaworthy. Many illegal businesses will try to operate across borders within the shipping industry. There are many possible scenarios that could arise, and most likely have, that create the need for government-run organizations to manage these operations. These are just some examples to show reasons for the regulation of the international shipping industry.

Censorship is another reason governing authorities prefer to regulate what is allowed into a country, which isn’t always a good thing. Then there is technological control, controlling the consumer electronics market and availability to regulate what the citizens have versus the government. Items exported could have an impact on the world market as well; for example, the way Afghanistan exports opiate products at an extremely low cost directly increases the opiate drug problems that countries across the globe face, making the perception of Afghanistan by other countries a negative one.

The governments should not only oversee what products ship across the borders both ways, but also use the import and export tariffs as a form of regulating variables. We could increase tariffs on imports, raising costs of foreign products to increase purchasing of local/domestic products as well as decrease tariffs on exports to increase purchasing of products we ship by lowering their cost internationally. So the government could use its regulations to spur local/domestic economies, therefore influencing its gross domestic product where the economy’s markets permit it, up to its influential threshold.

Imported products should be categorized as far as luxury items and common essential items. The luxury item category could include things such as anti-aging skin care and cosmetic products, high-end fashion clothing, sports and luxury cars, to high-end consumer electronics, and that category would justifiably be high import tariffs whether there is domestic competition or not; consumer products that do not meet a basic human or manufacturing need or are above specific retail cost that the average person afford deemed by a consumer reporting agency per country governing authority.

Common essential items could include hygiene products, food products, regular clothing and show products, children’s and babies’ products, transportation safety products, packaging and packing products, and materials that are used for manufacturing or construction that meet standards created, regulated, and enforced by relevant agencies and organizations. Import tariffs in those categories should vary depending on domestic product manufacturing, production, and availability. If the domestic manufacturing on common essential items can exceed the local markets’ demands, then the import tariffs should be increased along with the export tariff decreased. Whereas if the domestic manufacturing on common essential items cannot meet the local market’s demands, then the import tariff on common essential items should be lowered to a minimum allowable. Hazardous materials and chemicals should include extra import tariffs for endangering environments during shipping and including extra handling and precautionary measures along with cleanup for any spills or accidents.

Export tariffs should be kept to a minimum to help increase GDP and help improve the local economy overall, although the local markets’ demands need to be able to be met before essential common items are sold to foreign markets. Some companies find it more profitable to export their product due to a higher retail price in different countries, spending more on shipping, than most likely maintaining the same profit margin and selling it to their fellow citizens at a lower cost. Export tariffs should be kept to a minimum unless they are natural resources that could be used where it is extracted, mined, or gathered; then it would make sense to increase the export tariff to minimize foreign countries stripping and harvesting the land of its natural resources.

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