Opening America's Market: U. S. Foreign Trade Policy since 1776

Opening America's Market: U. S. Foreign Trade Policy since 1776

Opening America's Market: U. S. Foreign Trade Policy since 1776

Opening America's Market: U. S. Foreign Trade Policy since 1776

Synopsis

Despite the passage of NAFTA and other recent free trade victories in the United States, former U.S. trade official Alfred Eckes warns that these developments have a dark side. Opening America's Market offers a bold critique of U.S. trade policies, concentrating on the evolution of those policies over the last sixty years and placing them within a broad historical perspective. While many believe the United States rose to world leadership on the strength of its commitment to free trade, Eckes shows the facts are quite different.

Excerpt

Congress shall have the power

1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises . . .

3. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes. (emphasis added) -- U.S. Constitution, art. 1, sec. 8

"We're at war," Deputy Commerce Secretary Clarence J. "Bud" Brown exclaimed as he arrived at the Capitol Hill Club for lunch.

Have the Russians bombed New York? I wondered, or has President Reagan retaliated against Japanese trade barriers?

"At war with whom?" I asked.

"With Congress, of course," Brown responded.

Brown's comment in September 1985 reflected the unique culture of Washington, D.C., where Democrats and Republicans shared the government and battled relentlessly for advantage. With one party entrenched in Congress and the other holding the White House, the real enemy often seemed only sixteen blocks away. Until the bitter 1993 debate over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) energized ordinary Americans and fractured the two major political parties, trade struggles usually aroused only Washington insiders -- a group largely composed of U.S. officials, foreign representatives, and lobbyists. Many of the lobbyists were former presidential appointees who chose to remain near the center of government power representing business interests, especially foreign corporations eager to share the giant American . . .

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