Adjustment Assistance to Import Competition

  • Seamus O’cleireacain


With the increased tempo of initiatives for renewed multilateral negotiations aimed at the further liberalisation of international trade and the simultaneous fear that the world economy is threatened by renewed protectionism, the use of adjustment assistance policies, governed if possible by an international code of behaviour, has been widely suggested. The proponents of such programmes argue that they would tend to weaken the opposition of interests which feel threatened by further removal of protection. Even in cases where there was no question of trade concessions causing loss of markets, and the threatened parties sought protection with the intention of remaining permanently in the industry, the existence of an adjustment programme would have advantages in widening the range of production activities open to an enterprise that feels itself in some danger in its traditional line of production. Such a programme would also, by providing a temporary form of assistance, prevent other forms of protection which could prove more difficult to remove in the long run.


Social Cost Trade Liberalisation Adjustment Programme Private Cost Import Competition 
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  1. 1.
    For a standard treatment of the static welfare costs of protection, see Harry G. Johnson, “The Cost of Protection and the Scientific Tariff”, Journal of Political Economy Chicago, August, 1960. A slight discussion is found below.Google Scholar
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    Presidential Commission on International Trade and Investment Policy, United States International Economic Policy in an Interdependent World, Williams Report (Washington: US Government Printing Office, 1971), p. 318.Google Scholar
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    See Frances M. Geiger, “The US Adjustment Assistance Programme and Analogous Programmes in other OECD Countries”, in US Foreign Economic Policy for the 1990s: a New Approach to New Realities (Washington: National Planning Association, 1971), pp. 194–211. The paper is a supporting document for a report of an advisory committee of the National Planning Association.Google Scholar
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    In closing this section, the reader’s attention is drawn to two excellent studies on adjustment assistance: Ronald and Paul Wonnacott, Free Trade between the United States and Canada (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967), Ch. 16, pp. 307–22; andGoogle Scholar
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    See J. J. McCall, “Information and Job Search”, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, February, 1970, pp. 113–26.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Trade Policy Research Centre 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seamus O’cleireacain

There are no affiliations available

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