The Tricks of the Trade

In international commerce, every nation is looking for an edge

Unfair trade practices come in many guises. Some are straightforward, like tariffs and quotas. Others are more subtle, like nitpicking import regulations and government subsidies to domestic industries. Whatever the strategies used, no country, including the U.S., can claim that it always plays fair. A guide to the tricks of the trade:

Tariffs. Through a series of painstaking negotiations, 17 major industrial countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have lowered their tariff levels on nonagricultural goods to about 5%, down from 15% in the 1950s. But mountainous tariff barriers remain a favorite defense against imports in developing countries....

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