Free trade was best exemplified by the unilateral attitude of Britain, which from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1920s reduced rules and tariffs on imports and exports.  An alternative approach of creating free trade areas between groups of countries through agreements, such as those of the European Economic Area and Mercosur, creates a protectionist barrier between this free trade area and the rest of the world. Most governments continue to impose certain protectionist measures to support local employment, such as for example. Β the application of customs duties on imports or export subsidies. Governments can also restrict free trade to limit exports of natural resources.