- Available in: Print and PDF
- Published: January 1, 2009
Edited by Professor Frank Trentmann.
Published 2009 (ISBN 1 905370 43 1) Price £9.95
The global financial crisis and slowdown in economic growth has far-reaching consequences for the world’s trading system and globalisation. After a quarter of a century of strong growth and market liberalisation, world trade volumes are forecast to decline this year. This sudden contraction presents an enormous challenge to trade ministers and the World Trade Organization, which is struggling to revive the aborted Doha round of multilateral trade talks. As this publication makes clear, the threat of protectionism and tariff wars will have serious social and economic effects, especially in developing countries where free and fair trade is often a critical feature of combating poverty and maintaining political stability. It is against this background that the distinguished authors of this publication present their views on what we have learned from the history of trade liberalisation and address what could be done today to ensure that trade policy remains a force for prosperity and social justice. As the WTO director general, Pascal Lamy, commented recently, “for national policy makers in the industrialised world, disregard for rising public concern about some aspects of globalisation would threaten to undermine the legitimacy of governments and imperil social support, as would neglect of the gains from trade. The answer to this tension lies in a balance between open markets and complementary domestic policies, along with international initiatives that manage the risks arising from globalisation.” Britain and the EU have their part to play in achieving that balance, and we hope that this monograph will help inform their policy thinking.