≡ Menu

Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 97 of Jagdish Bhagwati’s and Douglas Irwin’s 1987 paper “The Return of the Reciprocitarians: U.S. Trade Policy Today,” as this paper is reprinted in Political Economy and International Economics, a 1991 collection, edited by Doug Irwin, of some of Bhagwati’s writings (footnote deleted):

Thus after the removal of the Corn Laws in 1846, unilateralism in free trade became a critical feature of British free trade doctrine.  As the economist Thomas Tooke described it, the policy was ‘not to render our own commercial reforms in any way dependent on the fears, the wishes or the diplomacy of other states’, but ‘to act at once upon the principle that every reduction of duties which admits a larger quantity of the produce of foreign countries must at least be paid for by commodities which it is profitable for this country to export, whatever may be the degree of folly or wisdom displayed in the tariffs of the foreign countries to which they are sent’.

DBx: Pictured above are the great John Bright and Richard Cobden – leaders of the Anti-Corn Law League.  These men and their compatriots pushed in Britain for complete, unilateral free trade – a strategy that paid off, to the benefit of ordinary Brits, with the repeal of the corn laws in 1846.