>I do remember reading a few years ago in the NYT Bhagwati's argument that
>NAFTA-like regionalism actually represented a step back from global free
Yeah, you do hear that now & then, but I think it's mostly the demented raving of free-trade fanatics.
> You suggest here not. Since I don't remember the details of
>Bhagwati's argument, I'll defer. don't really understand how the world
>trading system works. Looked through Ruigrok's and van Tulder's chapter on
>intl trade in Logic of Intl Restructuring. Suggests the complexity of the
>system as did Greider in his first Nation piece (how these floors, vers,
>trigger price mechanisms, anti dumping legislation, subsidies, bilateral
>agreements really work is beyond me).
Don't feel bad - it's beyond almost everyone except trade lawyers. Sure there are restrictions in specific industries (textiles especially) and in specific countries (U.S. Super-301 stuff), but let's look at the macro results: it's hard to find an item of clothing in the U.S. that isn't imported, and it's hard to argue that U.S. markets in general are closed.