How The Democratic Party 's Industrial / Agricultural Ties Can Blow Their Free Trade Agenda Off Course Comes From

1601 Words May 15th, 2016 7 Pages
A good example of how the Democratic Party’s industrial/agricultural ties can blow their free trade agenda off course comes from the trade policy of Harry Truman. Truman’s key achievement in this area is undoubtedly the signing of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1949. Recall that the GATT was negotiated directly after the Second World War, which is supposedly a period in which liberal trade politics were considered integral to a new peaceful and prosperous world order. Additionally, Truman himself bought into this logic, as argued by Trezise “Truman was pretty clearly a dedicated free trader” (Trezise, 1993, p189). Commentators on this agreement have tended to focus far too much on the International dynamics of this agreement, which has purported GATT was a wholly ‘free trade’ agreement. For example in Dobson’s analysis of the GATT he argued that “its philosophy rested firmly on the theories of comparative and absolute advantage” he goes on to say that the GATT emerged through a multilateral desire to “escape the mercantilist protectionism that had characterized international trade in the years between the two world wars” (Dobson, 1993, p573).
Despite Truman’s aim of securing global freer trade as well as the international dynamics being ripe for a free market system, his administration were “constrained by protectionist demands at home” (Zielar, 1988, p337). As has been the case under Obama, electoral politics dictated that Truman compromise his free trade…

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