Rent-Seeking and Trade Protection

  • Charles K. Rowley
  • Robert D. Tollison
Part of the Topics in Regulatory Economics and Policy book series (TREP, volume 1)


For some thirty-five years following the end of the Second World War, successive U.S. governments proved to be reasonably consistent supporters of freer international trade and opponents of trade protection, irrespective of the political balance between the Democrats (historically the free trade Party) and the Republicans (historically the Party of protection). As an active supporter of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT), as a major participant in the “Kennedy Round” and the “Tokyo Round” of tariff reductions,1 and as a reasonably resolute defier, especially at presidential level, of persistent protectionist special interests within its own domestic economy, these U.S. governments played an invaluable role in extending international trade, and with it associated comparative advantages, across the Western World. In so doing, they offered an important counter-example to the logic of collective action,2 wherein it is predicted that special interest producer groups typically dominate the generalized consumer interest in political markets, despite the underlying balance in the vote motive of those concerned.


Public Choice Trade Liberalization Regulation Market Trade Protection Rent Seeker 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles K. Rowley
  • Robert D. Tollison

There are no affiliations available

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