Why didn't the protectionist spiral of the 1920s reappear in the 1970s in light of similar economic and political realities? In Resisting Protectionism, Helen Milner analyzes the growth of international economic interdependence and its effects on trade policy in the United States and France. She argues that the limited protectionist response of the 1970s stems from the growth of firms' international economic ties, which reduces their interest in protection by increasing its cost. Thus firms with greater international connections will be less protectionist than more domestically oriented firms. The book develops this thesis by examining the international ties of export dependence, multinationality, and global intra-firm trade. After studying selected U.S. industries, Milner also examines French firms to see if they respond to increased interdependence in the same way as American firms, despite their different historical, ideological, and political contexts.
Helen V. Milner is the B. C. Forbes Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and the director of the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. She is currently also the chair of the Department of Politics.