Trade Relations between Free-Market and Controlled Economies

Trade Relations between Free-Market and Controlled Economies

Trade Relations between Free-Market and Controlled Economies

Trade Relations between Free-Market and Controlled Economies

Excerpt

One of the major problems of commercial policy likely to arise after the war is that of the trading relationships between countries if some subject their foreign trade to direct regulation and others desire to avoid such controls and to influence the free play of the price mechanism only or mainly by tariffs. Towards the solution of this problem, war-time experience can contribute little, as the external trade of almost all countries is now strictly controlled. The most appropriate approach to the problem clearly lies in an analysis of the difficulties with which countries maintaining a substantially free trading system and relying primarily on the tariff method of trade regulation were faced in the 1930s owing to the growth of quotas, exchange control, government monopoly and other types of trade regulation elsewhere and in a critical appraisal of the attempts made to meet these difficulties.

Such a task has been undertaken in this study by Professor Jacob Viner, who in his last chapter of conclusions, however, supplements his appraisal of past policies by constructive proposals for the future.

This volume constitutes part of a programme of studies devoted to problems of postwar economic policy. Other volumes in the same series, dealing with various aspects of the problem of future international trading relationships, include Europe's Trade, The Network of World Trade, Commercial Policy in the Inter-war Period: International Proposals and National Policies, and Quantitative Trade Controls: Their Causes and Nature. Reference should also be made to the report of the League of Nations Delegation on Economic Depressions on The Transition from War to Peace Economy, the third chapter of which deals, inter alia, with postwar commercial policy and allied questions.

The publication of Professor Viner's study as a valuable contribution to thought on the subject of postwar commercial policy does not, of course, identify the League of Nations with the analysis and views contained in it.

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