The following article is an edited excerpt from The World Trading System: Law and Policy of International Economic Relations, published recently by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press. Reprinted with permission.
The starting point for any discussion of policy for the international economic system of today is the notion of "liberal trade," meaning the goal to minimize the amount of interference of governments in trade flows that cross national borders. The economic arguments concerning this central policy concept will be discussed below, but regardless of their validity or intellectual persuasiveness, there is no question that they have been influential. The basic "liberal-trade" philosophy is constantly reiterated by government and private persons, even in the context of a justification for departing from it!
John H. Jackson,
The World Trading System,
Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/lqnotes/vol34/iss1/8