Trade: The Swelling Protectionist Tide

In Geneva, trade ministers gather for a slanging match

As the worldwide recession continues, warning bells are sounding for a fundamental element of the global economic system. Free trade, which has been a locomotive of prosperity since World War II, is in grave danger of derailment. The cause: a tendency by hard-pressed governments to erect trade barriers in attempts to safeguard their ailing industries at the expense of those of other countries. So serious is the problem that former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford issued a rare joint statement calling for a halt in "the drift toward economic anarchy." In...

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