Liberal Protectionism: The International Politics of Organized Textile Trade

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Liberal Protectionism: The International Politics of Organized Textile Trade

By Vinod K. Aggarwal
University of California Press, 1986
302 pp. $9.95
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Although it is presented as a study of "regime transformation," this book has particular value as an intelligent and intelligible history of international arrangements for dealing with trade in textiles and clothing. From documents (some of them restricted), interviews and other analyses, Mr. Aggarwal has put together a first-rate analysis of events from the late 1950s to the 1981 renewal of the Multi-Fiber Arrangement. In the early years one could make an argument for the view that "an international regime regulating intervention in the textile trade" was restraining "full-blown protectionism." By 1977, however, things had deteriorated to the point that the industrial countries were largely freed from any limitations on their authority to set the terms of access to their markets and to discriminate among suppliers in the process. Mr. Aggarwal lays most of the blame for this on the European Community. His book is not the whole story, but it is a good and significant part of it.

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