Cover image for Free trade, free world : the advent of GATT
Free trade, free world : the advent of GATT
Zeiler, Thomas W.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 267 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
War and peace, 1940-1943 -- Defending the empire, 1941-1944 -- Modified multilateralism, 1944-1945 -- Planning in the Cold War, 1946 -- The Republicans strike back, 1946-1948 -- Managing protectionism, 1947 -- Concessions for the commonwealth, 1947 -- The compromise charter, 1947-1948 -- The end of idealism, 1948-1950 -- Trade liberalism on track, 1949 -- Cold War ideals, 1950-1953.
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HF1379 .Z45 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A history of the birth of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), showing how the diplomatic and political considerations of the Cold War shaped US trade policy between 1940 and 1953. Zeiler traces the debate between proponents of free trade and advocates of protectionism.

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Choice Review

In 1953, US imports of goods and services accounted for four percent of gross domestic product; in 1997, it stood at 13 percent. Similar increases in the importance of international trade have occurred throughout the world. In this volume, Zeiler (history, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder) examines in detail one of the factors contributing to the emergence of a global economy in the second half of the 20th century. That factor, he contends, is the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and his book covers the period from 1940 to 1953, its formative years. He examines in detail a variety of forces and counterforces that played a role in negotiations leading up to the GATT. They included the decline of Great Britain as a world power, the rise of the US, the Cold War, the aspirations of free traders in both the US and abroad, the resistance of protectionists, and the use of trade for diplomatic and political purposes. The outcome, Zeiler concludes, was a practical mechanism pointed toward a free trade vision, suited to its time and world conditions. Recommended for collections serving upper-division undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and practitioners. E. L. Whalen formerly, University of Houston System