United States Trade Policy: Current and Future Role in a Global Economy

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The United States has for over two centuries been involved in the growing world economy. While the U.S. post revolutionary war sought to protect itself from outside influences has since the great depression and world war two looked to break trade restrictions. The United States role in the global economy has grown throughout the 20th century and as a result of several historical events has adopted positions of both benefactor and dependent. The United States trade policy has over time shifted from isolationist protectionism to a commitment to establishing world-wide free trade. Free trade enterprise has developed and grown through organizations such as the WTO and NAFTA. The U.S. in order to obtain its free trade desires has implemented a…show more content…
Before 1934 the Smoot-Hawley Act created an economic market of high tariffs and trade restrictions which arguably added to the economic crisis of the 1930s (Norton). The United States realizing the need for liberalized trade enacted the Trade Agreements Act of 1934 (Irwin). Free trade agreements then becamean essential part of the United States trade policy agenda. With institutions such as the World Trade Organization and agreements in place like the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, the United States sponsors a number of programs that help in stimulating free trade. Secretary of State Cordell Hull (1930s) stated as the United states moved towards open trade “Nations cannot produce on a level to sustain their people and well-being unless they have reasonable opportunities to trade with one another” (U.S. Department of State). Amidst these policies the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) signed in 1947, helped promote a more open market for the United States to become involved in. Both the International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization, both developed after World War 2, are international organizations that work to regulate and maintain open trade in the world. Moving from protectionism to liberalized trade the U.S. has through the course of history witnessed a number of advancements and beneficial aspects accompanied with free trade. The benefits of free trade can be seen in economic as well
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