ch.14Brawley - Brawley: Chapter 14 Britains Refusal to...

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Brawley: Chapter 14 – Britain’s Refusal to Retaliate on Tariffs, 1906-1911 - In the late nineteenth century, Britain maintained free trade, refusing to retaliate even when other countries adopted high tariffs. - Was a highly political issue in Britain, protectionist platforms were rejected - Chapter provides an overview of the system, domestic, bureaucratic and individual levels of analysis for why free trade was favored and protectionism rejected. The System-Level View: Erosion of the Free Trade Regime - typical argument stresses Britain’s hegemonic position in the international system - by the twentieth century, the industrial powerhouses were no longer as competitive - Britain’s dominant financial center guided its foreign policy more than trade concerns o ex. balance of payments invisible goods earned Britain more money than tangible goods trades in fact, was running deficit in tangible goods, surplus in invisibles - Britain pursued free trade because its economic welfare rested of its continuation. - Retaliations by Britain may have sparked tariff wars, and the whole system closing down, thus destroying the competitive services and investments British supremacy rested on. - Marxists (like Wallerstein), who apply core-periphery models, note that hegemonic countries often go through such transformations o Dominating industrial production and trade = accumulate capital and earn incomes from investments. o Policy geared toward maintaining int’l investment dominate those supporting trade. Such policy dispute came to a head in aftermath of WWI. o Prior to the war, tariff retaliation was rejected because of the strong position of financial interests as opposed to industrial interests. - Sources of support for protectionism o Among industrialists (limited to those in skilled labor, who faced fierce international competition), who voted for free trade o Land-intensive agriculture, had been the losers in Britain’s free trade policies o System level: British security policies
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ch.14Brawley - Brawley: Chapter 14 Britains Refusal to...

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