Trading on Ideas, Review of Douglas A. Irwin's Against the Tide: An Intellectual History of Free TradeIssue: Fall 1997
Review of Douglas A. Irwin's Against the Tide: An Intellectual History of Free Trade (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996).
Free trade is, as always, in trouble--the best tribute to its power and effectiveness. But, also as always, the centers of support for and opposition to free trade are shifting. Ross Perot focused his 1988 campaign on resistance to free-trade doctrine. Even the U.S. Trade Representative's Office, long a sanctuary for openness, was headed in the first Clinton term by Mickey Kantor, who said publicly that Americans had never been keen on the idea and tried to act accordingly. His successor and ex-deputy, Charlene Barshefsky, a classic example of the bookkeeper taught to read, busies herself with the theology of bilateralism while running interference for America's most vested interests in the name of anti-dumping.