America's Trade Crisis: The Making of the U.S. Trade Deficit

Don Bonker, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $18.95 (310p) ISBN 978-0-395-47039-8
Congressman Bonker (D-Washington) is chairman of the House Subcommittee on International Economic Policy and Trade, making him a leading spokesman for the Democratic Party on trade issues. Here he ably outlines the history of U.S. trade policy in this century. He warns strongly against following the path of the infamous Smoot-Hawley tariffs of the 1930s, which drove the world deeper into the Depression as international commerce collapsed. He cautions his colleagues against the politically seductive but ultimately destructive, dangers of protectionism. He is very worried that international trade imbalances may lead the world into a self-destructive spiral of rising protectionism and escalating rounds of retaliation by our trading partners. Many of Bonker's arguments are undercut by the fact that the U.S. trade deficit is narrowing and that continuing deindustrialization is unlikely in light of the current high levels of factory utilization. The book is being suggestively published on the day the Democratic National Convention opens, and one hopes that the party will adopt Bonker's moderate anti-protectionist stance on trade issues. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1988
Release date: 07/01/1988
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