Richard Baldwin and Simon Evenett (eds)
In late 2008, as the global financial crisis was spreading, so too was protectionism. Despite pledges by G20 and APEC leaders, tariffs were being raised in developing countries and industrialised nations had launched a slew of investigations into “dumped” imports as a means of justifying tariff hikes. The futility of protectionism in a global recession is not a new lesson now and was not a new lesson then – every world leader is and was well aware of the role protectionism played in exacerbating the Great Depression. But even as the global economy is recovering, leaders continue to find themselves torn. Their heart tells them to help industries and workers under stress; their head tells them protectionism will backfire. This book, first published as an eBook in December 2008, collects essays from world-class economists on what global leaders must do to halt the slide towards protectionism. It identifies three areas where world leaders should act:
- World leaders must finalise the WTO’s Doha negotiations. WTO rules remain the world’s best bulwark against 1930s-style trade wars.
- All nations should commit to a standstill on raising their applied tariffs and other forms of protection.
- Industrialised and developing nations should refrain from initiating new antidumping cases, and postpone imposing antidumping duties wherever possible – economic nationalism should not be allowed to creep in.
With protectionism continuing to threaten global prosperity, many of this book’s recommendations hold true today.