This book aims to introduce the reader to some basic economic principles and empirical evidence regarding international trade and trade policy. Trade policy always generates controversy and free trade is always under attack. While this ensures that the title of this book will never need revision, the nature of the controversy and the arguments about trade do change over time.
The first edition of this book was published in 2002, shortly after the huge antiglobalization protests in Seattle at the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting. At that time, the principal concern was the impact of WTO rules on national sovereignty and environmental regulations. After 9/11, the antiglobalization movement all but disappeared. More recently, the major U.S. fear has been the offshoring of service sector jobs to India and the impact of trade with low-wage developing countries (mainly China) on wages and income distribution.
This third edition has updated the text to deal with a host of new developments, ranging from trade and wages to regional trade agreements, based on the most recent empirical evidence on those topics. As I noted in the first edition, this book essentially brings together some of the vast amount of economic research on international trade policy. As before, I wish to acknowledge all of the scholars who have made contributions to this field in recent years, for it is their work that has inspired me. In addition to those mentioned in previous editions, I would particularly like to thank Nina Pavcnik and Jay Shambaugh for providing valuable advice on this edition. I am also indebted to Yang Lu, my Dartmouth student and research assistant, who has helped with the preparation of this new edition. I also wish to thank Katherine Schmidt, another