163 pp., 5 x 8 in,
- Published: June 22, 1988
- Published: December 18, 1989
A leading international economist looks at many of the key issues of trade policy now confronting the United States and the world in this timely book. Clear, informative, and witty, Jagdish Bhagwati provides the best available analysis of the protection debate and offers a prescription for reform in this turbulent area of trade policy. Bhagwati identifies new and powerful interests and ideologies that are likely to dominate the outcome of the debate. He argues that opposing tendencies can be identified in trade-related ideologies and in the national and sectional interests that lobby on trade policy in pluralistic societies. He offers the prognosis that the forces favoring freer trade are more robust and more fundamental than the forces of protectionism, and that pro trade forces are likely to triumph in the end but only if we adapt appropriately the institutions within which these ideologies and interests must function. Through an appealing combination of text, quotations, cartoons, tables, charts, and graphs, Bhagwati provides a masterly and entertaining look at the forces for and against protection.
Protectionism is based on the inaugural series of Ohlin Lectures, which he delivered at the Stockholm School of Economics in October of 1987.
An economist who writes a short book in graceful English merits acclaim for that achievement alone. When he adds a sense of history and touches of humor, applause can only grow louder. Jagdish Bhagwati has done considerably more. He has adroitly expounded the arguments for free trade and protection in a form readily comprehensible to noneconomists, and at the same time has referred fellow practitioners to the latest research findings on the process and effects of international trade.... I recommend this model piece of exposition to anyone trying to make sense of the endless arguments over free trade, 'fair' trade, 'managed' trade, and outright protectionism.
In this one small book, protectionism the major policy issue of our time has been beautifully summed up by Professor Bhagwati for both expert and general reader. A tour de force!
Paul A. Samuelson
Professor Bhagwati's important and timely book refutes fashionable nonsense about trade policy coming from Congress and elsewhere. It also provides solid grounds for believing that the tide will turn against protection.
Samuel Brittan, Assistant Editor, Financial Times