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International Trade

Free, Fair and Open?

image of International Trade
International trade affects the price and availability of practically everything we buy. It also plays a role in many other domains, including jobs, the environment and the fight against poverty. OECD Insights: International Trade argues that prosperity has rarely, if ever, been achieved or sustained without trade. Trade alone, however, is not enough. Policies targeting employment, education, health and other issues are also needed to promote well-being and tackle the challenges of a globalised economy.

"The OECD is a major source for insightful analyses of current trade issues. It also plays a role in disseminating skilfully the results of less accessible writings on trade. This short book is a valuable addition to the latter endeavour and should be on the shelf of policy makers." 

-Jagdish Bhagwati, Columbia University

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Introduction

International trade influences a whole range of activities including jobs, consumption and the fight against poverty. It also affects the environment and relations among countries. In turn, trade is shaped by a host of influences ranging from natural resources to fashion. Trade-related issues can give rise to strong feelings, and trade measures such as banning or limiting imports are often called for to respond to major economic problems. An understanding of the benefits and downsides of trade, and of what trade policy can and cannot achieve, will help us to form our own opinions on debates about international trade.

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