chapter  8
14 Pages

British and American Hegemony Compared: Lessons for the Current Era of Decline

ByDAVID A. LAKE

Popular attention has focused on the appropriate policy response to this selfevident decline. One critical issue, which cuts across the traditional liberalconservative spectrum, is America’s relations with its allies. Should the United States maintain a policy of free trade premised on broad reciprocity as in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), or must it “get tough” with its trading partners, demand equal access industry-by-industry to foreign markets, balance trade between specific countries, and retaliate if others fail to abide by America’s understanding of the international trade regime? This is a question which all present and future American governments will have to address-and the answer is by no means ideologically predetermined or, for that matter, clear.