GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION IN INTERNATIONALTRADE. When a government believes that free trade is not in the best interests of its national security, domestic industries, workforce, or consumers, it can intervene in a number of ways. Some of these methods are collectively known as protectionism because they seek to protect a specific industry or groups of workers. While they can help some parties in the short term, many protectionist measures actually end up hurting the groups they were intended to help. When an industry is isolated from real-life competition for too long, it can fail to develop and become strong enough to compete efficiently.