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With keen historical awareness, Ostry examines the role of key economic power brokers, particularly the United States, in the reconstruction and reconfiguration of an international economy after World War II. She argues that U.S. policy efforts were so successful that they led to an unprecedented renewal of economic growth, living standards, and education levels in postwar Europe and Japan. Ironically, those same policy successes unintentionally fostered the relative decline of U.S. dominance on the world trade scene as the reduction of trade and investment barriers prompted friction and conflict between different kinds of capitalist systems.
Identifying the historical and legal issues key to postwar trade policy, Ostry has commandingly charted our economic course through the last half of this century and, perhaps, into the next.
"Sylvia Ostry knows this subject as few others do, both as a scholar of international trade issues and a major player in the ongoing negotiations that have created the rules of the trade game. The Post-Cold War Trading System is a fine summary of where we've been and where we ought to be going."—Peter Passell, economic scene columnist for The New York Times