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The World Economic Crisis

A Commonwealth Perspective: Selected Background Papers Prepared for a Commonwealth Group of Experts

image of The World Economic Crisis

The papers included in this volume were prepared to assist the Group of Experts which the Commonwealth Heads of Government, meeting in August 1979, had requested the SecretaryGeneral to assemble in order to “investigate and report on the factors inhibiting structural change and a sustained improvement in economic growth” and to identify specific measures by which developed and developing countries, Commonwealth and nonCommonwealth might act to reduce or eliminate such constraints as a matter of urgency”. The Group consisted of 10 experts who served in their personal capacities and were drawn from a representative range of developed and developing countries. During the first half of 1980 they met three times, and in July 1980 their Report was published by the Commonwealth Secretariat under the title ‘The World Economic Crisis: A Commonwealth Perspective’ (ISBN: 085092183X).

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Protectionism and Adjustment Policies in the OECD

Before 1973 there was an almost uninterrupted trend towards greater liberalisation of international trade, following the various rounds of GATT negotiations which led to a systematic reduction in the use of quantitative controls and tariffs to restrict trade flows. Deteriorating economic conditions in most Western countries since then have, however, led to increasing pressures to introduce selective import restrictions, in order to safeguard jobs and profits in particular industries (over and above the restrictions which have long applied to agricultural trade). Under existing GATT arrangements Article XIX provides the only basis for official trade restrictions.

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