Growing international trade has helped lift living standards around the world, and yet free trade is always under attack. Critics complain that trade forces painful economic adjustments, such as plant closings and layoffs of workers, and charge that the World Trade Organization serves the interests of corporations, undercuts domestic environmental regulations, and erodes America's sovereignty. Why has global trade--and trade agreements such as NAFTA--become so controversial? Does free trade deserve its bad reputation? 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.
Douglas A. Irwin is professor of economics at Dartmouth College and the author of Against the Tide: An Intellectual History of Free Trade, Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression (both Princeton), and Trade Policy Disaster: Lessons from the 1930s.
List of Figures ix List of Tables xi Preface xiii Introduction 1 1 The United States in a New Global Economy? 9 2 The Case for Free Trade: Old Theories, New Evidence 31 3 Protectionism: Economic Costs, Political Benefits? 77 4 Trade, Jobs, and Income Distribution 114 5 Relief from Foreign Competition: Antidumping and the Escape Clause 164 6 Developing Countries and Open Markets 195 7 The World Trading System: The WTO, Trade Disputes, and Regional Agreements 239 Conclusion 295 References 305 Index 337