chapter  14
Trade Policy Options for the Future
WithStephen D. Cohen, Joel R. Paul, Robert A. Blecker
Pages 13

US international economic hegemony contributed to an unusually broad-based consensus on US import and export policies. The nearly universally accepted priorities included espousing liberal trade in general, opening the US market wider to its new allies in the cold war, accepting the latter's limited ability to import US goods, and restricting exports of military and high-technology goods to communist bloc countries. An unusually high degree of ambiguity about the "proper" direction for US trade policy in the twenty-first century is inevitable. In the first place, this ambiguity is an offshoot of the larger uncertainty concerning precise calculations of the degree of weakness of the US trade position. The debate about US trade strategy is no longer a black-and-white argument between pure free traders and ardent protectionists. Instead, the debate is mainly between advocates of government activism and advocates of reliance on market forces.