Principles of Foreign Trade

Principles of Foreign Trade

Principles of Foreign Trade

Principles of Foreign Trade

Excerpt

International trade was one of the first subjects of inquiry pursued by modern economists. These economists, in their early treatments of the question, centered their attention almost exclusively upon the theory of international values, an aspect of the subject which even to-day is recognized as presenting the chief contrast with domestic trade. With the development of education for business, another type of book appeared dealing with the technique of international trading, especially of exporting. The two types of books were utterly different in point of view and were mutually exclusive as to content. In the present treatment a position midway between these extremes has been adopted. If this treatment has led to a neglect of some of the technical details of actual commerce and of some of the finer points of economic theory, it is believed that the sacrifices are justified by the objects in view.

Probably in no field of economic activity is there greater divergence between scientific doctrine on the one hand and the popular views of business men and the policies of governments on the other. It is the opinion of the writer that governmental policies and broad business policies can and should proceed from a rational and systematic theory of trade. With this thought in mind it follows that the writer has little patience with the idea that theory and practice should be divorced: the one to hold sway in philosophic circles, the other to govern in the actual conduct of affairs. Sound theory must be made up in view of the facts, and wise policy must be consistent with sound theory.

The aim of this book, therefore, is to bring the teachings of accepted economic theory into the realm of business and governmental policy. Such an attempt, it is hoped, will not be devoid of interest to business men, who do not need to be instructed in the technique of exporting, but who may perhaps profit . . .

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