U.S. Trade Policy: History, Theory, and the WTO

By William A. Lovett; Alfred E. Eckes Jr. et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

WILLIAM A. LOVETT Introduction

Britain's Free Trade Experiment

During the nineteenth century, Great Britain moved away from mercantilist practices in a freer trade experiment. 1 This had a great impact on subsequent controversies about trading policy. Although many nations (including the United States, Germany, France, Russia, Japan, Austria, and Italy) used more protectionist policies to catch up with "free trade" Britain, economic thought was focused upon these issues and upon the extent to which tariffs and other encouragements to industries were desirable. But throughout the British free trade experiment Britain's colonies were kept largely secure for British investments, companies, and trading activity. Also, Britain could afford to eliminate tariffs in the 1830s and 40s because it enjoyed a substantial lead in technology, industrial scale economies, maritime predominance, and stronger banking-investment resources. Yet by 1900, when the United States, Germany, and others had caught up with British industries, British manufacturers began to seek Imperial Preference tariffs as a means to greater reciprocity. In the 1920s, as Britain suffered adjustment and competitiveness problems, British trade policy became increasingly controversial. The Safeguarding of Industries Act of 1921 was implemented timidly, but finally in 1932 Britain rejoined the great majority of industrial nations by establishing Imperial Preference tariffs.

Despite unequal trade openness, with tariffs and industrial development policies, economic progress flourished in much of Europe, the United States, and other areas. International investments and loans expanded greatly, opening up new markets. Technological progress was dramatic in most fields, including, in particular, armaments, warships, and even aircraft.

Then World War I disrupted things. Casualties and war costs were heavy. A harsh peace was imposed upon Germany, with unsustainable repa

Tables 1.1 to 1.6 have been placed at the end of this chapter.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
U.S. Trade Policy: History, Theory, and the WTO


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 228

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?