Upsurge in Protectionism

Subsidies, tariffs and "voluntary "agreements erode free trade

Free trade, one of the greatest blessings that a government can confer on a people, is in almost every country unpopular.

—Thomas Babington, Lord Macaulay

Those ironic words, written in 1824 at a time of fierce economic nationalism, are still true today. The system of free trade that blossomed after World War II and helped propel a quarter-century of unmatched world prosperity is now under attack. In the wake of a recession that has left 24 million people out of work in the U.S. and Western Europe alone, more and more businessmen, labor leaders and politicians...

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