Free Trade Today

Free Trade Today

Free Trade Today

Free Trade Today


"Jagdish Bhagwati combines impressive theoretical skills with a rare talent for clear exposition. He has had a profound influence on trade policy thinking among scholars and practitioners. Once again he brings his formidable analytical gifts to bear in these lectures. They should be read by everybody who wants to understand the case for trade and why it sometimes seems so difficult to make that case."--Michael Moore, Director General, World Trade Organization

"Professor Bhagwati is our most powerful and persuasive advocate of free trade. In this book he does two important things: he punctures all the standard false arguments for protection, and he uses the modern theory of commercial policy to suggest how a balanced approach to trade and social policy might look. And all of this comes in a compact, lively, and readable package."--Robert M. Solow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1987 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences

"Trade liberalization in the second half of the twentieth century brought huge benefits, especially to those less-developed countries which seized the new opportunities. Now these gains are being threatened by 'Seattle-person, ' the offspring of an alliance between forces of ignorance and special interests. Jagdish Bhagwati's courageous stand against this threat merits our admiration. His rigorous yet lively restatement of the case for free trade should be required reading for all participants in the public debate on globalization."--Avinash K. Dixit, Princeton University

"Bhagwati is the prime warrior for free trade. In this splendid book, he encapsulates all major arguments in favor of free trade and debunks many arguments against it in a lucid andentertaining style. The arguments are up to date, addressing all key issues of the last decade."--Elhanan Helpman, Harvard University and Tel Aviv University

"Jagdish Bhagwati is easily the most creative international trade theoris


In 1987, I was invited to give the first Bertil Ohlin Lectures at the Stockholm School of Economics, leading to the publication of Protectionism (1988) by MIT Press. The lectures were widely reviewed and read, even translated into several languages.

A decade later, I gave three lectures collectively titled “Free Trade Today,” again at the Stockholm School of Economics. By the 1990s, the opposition facing the proponents of free trade had changed dramatically. I myself engaged in many public debates, both face-to-face, as when I took on Ralph Nader in the Town Hall of Seattle in November 1999 (when the World Trade Organization Ministerial failed amid chaos) in the presence of literally hundreds of his electrically charged followers, and in invited lectures worldwide and oped articles in innumerable magazines and newspapers. Videotapes exist of the debates, and my public-policy writings in the popular media and elsewhere have been collected in two volumes also published by MIT Press: A Stream of Windows: Unsettling Reflections on Trade, Immigration, and Democracy (1998) and The Wind of the Hundred Days: How Washington Mismanaged Globalization (2001).

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