The Wealth of a Nation: A History of Trade Politics in America

The Wealth of a Nation: A History of Trade Politics in America

by C. Donald Johnson

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Overview

The United States is entering a period of profound uncertainty in the world political economy—an uncertainty which is threatening the liberal economic order that its own statesmen created at the end of the Second World War. The storm surrounding this threat has been ignited by an issue that has divided Americans since the nation's founding: international trade. Is America better off under a liberal trade regime, or would protectionism be more beneficial? The issue divided Alexander Hamilton from Thomas Jefferson, the agrarian south from the industrializing north, and progressives from robber barons in the Gilded Age. In our own times, it has pitted anti-globalization activists and manufacturing workers against both multinational firms and the bulk of the economics profession.

Ambassador C. Donald Johnson's The Wealth of a Nation is an authoritative history of the politics of trade in America from the Revolution to the Trump era. Johnson begins by charting the rise and fall of the U.S. protectionist system from the time of Alexander Hamilton to the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930. Challenges to protectionist dominance were frequent and often serious, but the protectionist regime only faded in the wake of the Great Depression. After World War II, America was the primary architect of the liberal rules-based economic order that has dominated the globe for over half a century. Recent years, however, have seen a swelling anti-free trade movement that casts the postwar liberal regime as anti-worker, pro-capital, and—in Donald Trump's view—even anti-American. In this riveting history, Johnson emphasizes the benefits of the postwar free trade regime, but focuses in particular on how it has attempted to advance workers' rights. This analysis of the evolution of American trade policy stresses the critical importance of the multilateral trading system's survival and defines the central political struggle between business and labor in measuring the wealth of a nation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190865917
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Pages: 664
Sales rank: 1,224,752
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.30(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

C. Donald Johnson is Director Emeritus of the Dean Rusk International Law Center at the University of Georgia School of Law. Johnson was an Ambassador in the Office of United States Trade Representative, a member of Congress, representing the 10th district of Georgia, and he served in the Georgia State Senate.

Actor David Stifel entered the audiobook narration field in 2011, when he launched a long-term podcast of serializations of the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Today he is a multi-award-winning narrator with more than 125 titles to his credit.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Preface
Acknowledgments

Introduction: The Battle in Seattle and Adam Smith

PART ONE: FROM HAMILTON TO SMOOT- HAWLEY: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE US PROTECTIONIST SYSTEM
1 "A Genuine American System"
2 Crisis, Compromise, and Free Trade in the Jacksonian Democracy
3 Civil War and Robber Barons
4 The Gilded Age of Protectionism
5 Trade Reform in the Progressive Era
6 The Roaring Twenties and the Path to Smoot- Hawley

PART TWO: THE TRANSFORMATION: THE CREATION OF THE LIBERAL ECONOMIC ORDER
7 FDR and Cordell Hull
8 The Brain Trust
9 The Dawn of the Multilateral Trading System
10 The Anglo- American Special Relationship
11 The Postwar Atlantic Alliance
12 The Birth of GATT
13 The Havana Charter

PART THREE: THE SURVIVAL OF THE SYSTEM
14 A New Economic Order?
15 Labor's Love Is Lost
16 Advancing Worker Rights beyond the WTO

Conclusion: Donald Trump, the Forgotten Man, and the Liberal Economic Order

Notes
Bibliography
About the Author
Index

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