In Trade and the American Dream, Susan Aaronson highlights a previously ignored dimension of the United States trade policy: public understanding. Focusing on the debate over the three mechanisms designed to govern world trade -- the International Trade Organization (ITO), the General Agreement on Tarriffs and Trade (GATT), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) -- she examines how policymakers communicate and how the public comprehends trade policy.
Since 1947 the U.S. has led global efforts to free trade, and support for freer trade policies and for an international organization to govern world trade has become dogma among policymakers, business leaders, and economists. Relaying on archival research, polling data, public documents, interviews, and Congressional testimony, Aaronson shows that the public also matters in trade policy decisions. If concerns about the implications of economic interdependence remain unaddressed, American trade policy and an international trade organization are vulnerable to a surge of populism and isolationism.
While Americans became addicted to imported cars, radios, computers, and appliances, a growing number saw the costs of freer trade policies in the nation's slums, poverty statistics, crime rate, and unemployment figures. Concerns about freer trade policies reached a crescendo in the mid-1990s, especially as Congress debated U.S. participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Aaronson suggests ways to create greater public understanding for the GATT/WTO and international trade. If national trade policy is to play in Peoria, Americans must first understand it.
Straddling two of the nation's highest priorities--economic prosperity and national security--international economic policy necessitates continuous trade-offs from conflicting perspectives, making organization and procedure inherently significant determinants of a critically important policy. Opening with an explanation of the complex nature of the policy and its importance in political and economic terms, the book then examines the identities, responsibilities, attitudes, constituents, and institutional cultures of the executive branch, Congress, and interest groups involved in the formulation and conduct of policy. After considering the hardware of policymaking, the volume examines the major theories and decision-making models. It then focuses on the delicate relationship between the administration and Congress, illustrated by three case studies. In conclusion, the work assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the current policymaking process and offers recommendations for improvement.
In Free Trade under Fire, Douglas Irwin sweeps aside the misconceptions that litter the debate over trade and gives the reader a clear understanding of the issues involved. This fourth edition has been thoroughly updated to include the most recent policy developments and the latest research findings on the impact of trade.
Not so long ago the nation-state seemed to be on its deathbed, condemned to irrelevance by the forces of globalization and technology. Now it is back with a vengeance, propelled by a groundswell of populists around the world. In Straight Talk on Trade, Dani Rodrik, an early and outspoken critic of economic globalization taken too far, goes beyond the populist backlash and offers a more reasoned explanation for why our elites’ and technocrats’ obsession with hyper-globalization made it more difficult for nations to achieve legitimate economic and social objectives at home: economic prosperity, financial stability, and equity.
Rodrik takes globalization’s cheerleaders to task, not for emphasizing economics over other values, but for practicing bad economics and ignoring the discipline’s own nuances that should have called for caution. He makes a case for a pluralist world economy where nation-states retain sufficient autonomy to fashion their own social contracts and develop economic strategies tailored to their needs. Rather than calling for closed borders or defending protectionists, Rodrik shows how we can restore a sensible balance between national and global governance. Ranging over the recent experiences of advanced countries, the eurozone, and developing nations, Rodrik charts a way forward with new ideas about how to reconcile today’s inequitable economic and technological trends with liberal democracy and social inclusion.
Deftly navigating the tensions among globalization, national sovereignty, and democracy, Straight Talk on Trade presents an indispensable commentary on today’s world economy and its dilemmas, and offers a visionary framework at a critical time when we need it most.
In four brief, clear chapters, Irwin presents an authoritative account of the politics behind Smoot-Hawley, its economic consequences, the foreign reaction it provoked, and its aftermath and legacy. Starting as a Republican ploy to win the farm vote in the 1928 election by increasing duties on agricultural imports, the tariff quickly grew into a logrolling, pork barrel free-for-all in which duties were increased all around, regardless of the interests of consumers and exporters. After Herbert Hoover signed the bill, U.S. imports fell sharply and other countries retaliated by increasing tariffs on American goods, leading U.S. exports to shrivel as well. While Smoot-Hawley was hardly responsible for the Great Depression, Irwin argues, it contributed to a decline in world trade and provoked discrimination against U.S. exports that lasted decades.
Featuring a new preface by the author, Peddling Protectionism tells a fascinating story filled with valuable lessons for trade policy today.