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What Is A Natural Trade Barrier?

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Oscar De La Huerte Profile
In short, a natural trade barrier is any natural occurrence or environment that prevents or hinders trade. This could include any of the following:

  • A sea or ocean
  • A mountain range
  • A significant physical distance
  • Unfavourable weather conditions


What are natural trade barriers? Anything that restricts or makes trade difficult is referred to as a barrier.

When people talk about trade barriers, they are usually referring to the governmentally imposed restrictions of national and international trade.

This type of barrier can take many forms, including:

  • Embargo
  • Restrictions
  • Tariffs
  • Licensing
When we talk about 'natural' trade barriers though, we are usually referring to the things that prevent trade, and over which humans have no control. These are setbacks to trade that are not artificially created and can include things like difficult terrain and long distances.

These days, with the technology we have in trade, logistics and transport, we are better equipped to overcome trade barriers. 


Examples of natural trade barriers

Trade barriers found in nature are spread right across the world. Anything inhospitable and difficult to cross - such as deserts like the Sahara and the Arabian desert - can be seen as natural trade barriers, even though humans have always managed to find ways around them.

In modern times, trade is facilitated through such areas thanks to air-freight, oil pipelines and anything that makes transporting goods through uninhabitable environments easier.

In the past people would have used less efficient methods (such as camel trains) to carry goods across the desert.

Natural trade barriers shape (and always have shaped) the way nations and economies develop.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
A natural trade Barier is anything natural like a mountain, forest, or desert that can stop trade.

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