chapter  1
Pages 17

Trade policy is important to US economic growth and broadly rising standards of living. The new law, the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, accelerated the momentum of the more aggressive trade policy upon which the Reagan administration embarked in its second term. More than ever before, US trade policy is focused on remedying conditions of unfair trade those aftlict American producers at home and abroad. The emphasis of US trade policy shifted during the 1980s from combating unfair imports through antidumping and countervailing duties to pursuing more open foreign markets for American exporters. These three basic ideas—specialization, competition, and adjustment—lead to the key principles that should guide the nation’s trade policy. First, trade policy should facilitate the optimal allocation of resources through specialization. Second, trade policy should promote market-based competition rather than impede it. Third, trade policy should facilitate adjustment to change rather than retard it.