Trade is the voluntary exchange of goods, services, or both, also called commerce. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and services. Modern traders instead generally negotiate through a medium of exchange, such as money.
- Our wants are various, and nobody has been found able to acquire even the necessaries without the aid of other people, and there is scarcely any Nation that has not stood in need of others. The Almighty himself has made our race such that we should help one another. Should this mutual aid be checked within or without the Nation, it is contrary to Nature.
- Anders Chydenius, The National Gain, §2, 1765.
- Empirical evidence tends to show that trade liberalisation may entail non-trivial adjustment costs for certain groups.
- World Trade Organization annual report
- Every individual necessarily labors to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally indeed neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. He intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good."
- Trade is not something imaginary or descriptive, but something real and profitable.