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Protectionism – some lessons from the 1930s

An encouraging lesson from the 1930s is that long-term output losses from protectionism may be lower than feared. But the period also demonstrates the march of globalisation is not a given; and that once a trade dispute starts, escalation can be a lengthy process. Spill-overs to financial and commodity markets can cause negative feedback effects, which result in large impacts on the volume and patterns of global trade.

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