Dr. Seymour Patterson is Professor of Economics at Truman State University in Missouri. He received his B.A. from Florida State University in economics, and his masters and Ph.D. are also in economics from University of Oklahoma. Dr. Patterson’s research interest is primarily in international economics with special focus in trade, growth and economic development issues.
2006 0-7734-5906-5 This book looks at the disparity in the conversation among economists and politicians of free trade as a paradigm for economic efficiency, in contrast to the practice of trade restrictions around the world, including in countries such as the United States which advocates of free trade. Free trade rhetoric is commonplace. However, what appears to be the goal of advocates is freer trade, because for many reasons countries will always restrict trade. Even major advocates of free trade themselves practice restricted trade, which implicitly must benefit to advocates above the free trade alternative model. Nevertheless, international bodies promote free trade—WTO, EU, NAFTA, CAFTA. But, domestic companies and entities—steel, labor unions—lobby for protection. The study does not argue against free trade. It maintains that the free-trade debate has garnered followers around the world; since 1980s there has been a rush to free trade. The free-trade movement in Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere has to overcome a political–cost-benefit calculus. In the prevailing climate of free-trade promotion, the nuanced argument posited here is less frequently made. The free-trade discussion in this book can engage a wide array of people such as students, businessmen, and politicians.