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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sounding the Alarm on Trade

The ever-reasonable Dan Drezner has been trying to hold back on protectionist panic, but last Friday's decision on tire tariffs has him sounding the alarm.
We trade enthusiasts are an excitable lot, however, what with everything leading to falling off cliffs, crossroads being reached, and red zones being breached. Seven years ago, the allegedly free-trade Bush administration imposed steel tariffs that were found to be WTO-inconsistent. There was a lot of gnashing of teeth and wailing, yet the world trade system proved to be pretty robust. So maybe my trade compatriots are exaggerating things a wee bit, yes? In all likelihood, won't this be resolved via the WTO dispute settlement mechanism about 18 months from now?

For the first eight months of the Obama administration, I've been resisting the urge to shout "protectionism" at the drop of the hat. This time, however, there are X reasons why I'm feeling much more nervous:

Read the whole thing.

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