The post-war period characterized by robust and broad-based global economic growth is a testament to the power of trade liberalization and the leadership of the United States in the international trading system. Unfortunately, the current US administration has failed to reverse the disastrous policies of its predecessor, leaving US producers and their workers worse off.
WASHINGTON, DC – Global economic growth since World War II has been unprecedentedly successful. Compared to the first half of the 20th century, growth has been both faster and more widely shared around the world, leading to dramatic increases in life expectancy and health conditions in developing countries.
Trade liberalization was an important factor in this progress. Among developing countries, those that have opened their economies to international trade have grown rapidly. South Korea, Chile, China and India in the 1990s are striking examples of successful trade liberalization, but there are many others.
The United States led the post-war integration process, both by keeping its own economy very open and by helping to establish the World Trade Organization. WTO articles govern trade rules and allow for the negotiation of multilateral trade arrangements, including reciprocal tariff reductions. Without this international foundation of the rule of law, trade liberalization and the resulting economic growth could not have unfolded as they did. Above all, because the WTO is a multilateral institution, it guarantees the rights of all countries, large and small.
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