American Trade Politics

4 April 2015
Critical review of work arguing against protectionism & for free trade. Tariffs & quotas, NAFTA, global marketing, govt. intervention, GATT, critics of free trade.

Free trade is one of the few issues on which just about all economists agree: they are for it. In part because of this powerful consensus, all American Presidents in modern times have committed themselves to free trade (and most have honored the commitment quite seriously). However, protectionism remains a constant threat to this state of affairs, according to I. M. Destler in American Trade Politics, and only constant vigilance will prevent protectionism from returning to American politics. Recent trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) offer hope that protectionism will not gain a foothold, and Destler is pleased with the progress that the Clinton administration made, observing that protectionism could have returned under a …
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