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Comment: Ex-Library copy with typical library stickers and stamps. Otherwise in good condition with pages free of highlighting/writing, intact binding, and minimal wear.
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Opening America's Market: U.S. Foreign Trade Policy Since 1776 (Business, Society & the State) Hardcover – September 11, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Eckes traces American foreign trade policy back to the free trade arguments espoused by such early leaders as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and identifies conditions under the prevailing mercantilist philosophy that led to calls for protectionist barriers. He concentrates, however, on the policy that has evolved since passage of the controversial Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. Eckes makes the historian's case that current events cannot be understood without looking at them in historical perspective, and that is what he does here in analyses of NAFTA and other free trade initiatives. He also offers the historian's disclaimer of ideological bias, but his self-admitted "revisionism" in minimizing the effects of Smoot-Hawley and his warnings regarding the consequences of free trade "victories" make his opinions clear. David Rouse


The book poses important issues about the relationships between policy and economic performance and areas deserving fuller study in terms of business-government relations. . . . [Eckes] study will be useful to business historians concerned with international trade business form 1945 to 1970 or the changing nature of the U.S. economy.--Business History

A dispassionate, informed and accessible account of the history of United States trade policy that can help Americans evaluate the arguments of both free-traders and protectionists. . . . [Eckes] unites scholarly rigor with a policy maker's sensitivity to the political factors influencing trade. . . . One hopes that future historians will provide their readers with a perspective on the past as helpful as the one Mr. Eckes has given us.--New York Times Book Review (1995)

A former trade official in the Bush and Reagan Administrations traces the history of American trade policy to help readers sort through the arguments of both free-traders and protectionists.--New York Times Book Review, New and Noteworthy Paperbacks (1998)

The book is thoughtful, fresh, and should appeal to a wide audience, from undergraduates to specialists (including policymakers).--Perspectives on Political Science

An up-to-date history of U.S. trade policies, written by a historian, has long been sorely needed; Eckes fills the gap.--American Historical Review

Should alert elites (historians included!) to the dangers of free-trade, market dogmatism to American economic vitality.--Journal of American History

[Eckes] has written a clear but controversial book on a very controversial topic. . . . This is a well-argued and amply documented work of historical scholarship and contemporary policy advocacy.--Choice

As an historian at Ohio University and a former commissioner for the U.S. International Trade Commission, Eckes provides an insider's knowledge coupled with the nuance and analysis that one expects of a seasoned historian. . . . The story Eckes tells is a fascinating one, and his conclusions necessitate a reexamination of America's current obsession with the doctrine of free trade. . . . In attempting to explain trade policy since 1776, Eckes has made a major contribution to the existing scholarship on American foreign economic policy. . . . Along with politicians and trade negotiators, business and diplomatic historians must take Eckes's arguments into account: his research is thorough, his knowledge of the issues impressive, and the questions he raises cannot be ignored.--Bruce A. Khula, H-Business


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Product Details

  • Series: Business, Society & the State
  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (September 11, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807822132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807822135
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,021,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I give the author high marks for explaining early on the difference between FREE trade and FAIR trade. While he is an avowed protectionist and much of what he offers must be balanced by more progressive views, the tide is turning as "true costs" become established and we all begin to realize that between exporting solid jobs for the middle class and the earnest blue collar trade specialists, and allowing illegal immigration and the Reagan-led destruction of the trade unions, we have put a stake in the heart of THE fundamental source of national power and prosperity: people.

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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By not me VINE VOICE on August 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an incomplete and polemical history of U.S. trade policy written from a protectionist point of view. On the plus side, Eckes served as an International Trade Commissioner in the 1980s and has an insider's knowledge of American trade politics; in addition, while preparing the book, he turned up some interesting documents on the role of the State Department in trade remedy cases in the 1950s and '60s. However, he offers no economic analysis, does not present both sides of the trade debate, and sneers at professional economists rather than rebuts the case they make for free trade. (One almost wonders about his impartiality on the ITC). He also barely mentions U.S. policy in the GATT or the WTO. These are fatal lapses in a book on this subject. Not recommended.
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