Globalization disrupted the seemingly solid construction emerged in the aftermath of WW II, called the international trade system. For over fifty years, the system grew constantly thanks to the increasing number of countries that joint it as well as to its ubiquitously-accepted rules. For better and for worse the system has worked according to traditional theory principles, whose core credo was that all participating countries would gain more if engaged in trade than if in autarchy. Globalization has muddied the waters. The contemporary order in which multinational companies make the rules has made these predictions look elusive. One serious implication is today’s unorthodox approach of trade policy, free trade being sacrificed in favor of managed trade, with the whole string of good and bad consequences that derive from states’ intervention.
Category - Sorin BURNETE
Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania
In this paper, I discuss the effects of certain trade policy measures, mostly import tariffs, presently contemplated by the US government, aimed at enhancing domestic employment in a number of targeted industries. I intend to show that insofar as such measures restrain free trade among NAFTA member-countries, they run counter to a basic rule suggested by conventional theory, stating that, following changes in the tariff structure, resources will shift toward activities that enjoy the highest rate of effective protection. I try to demonstrate that erecting barriers against inside-NAFTA trade, aside from hurting industries that use outsourcing extensively, has little chances to create incentives for labor shifts in the desired direction.