The essays presented here arose from a strong feeling that it is very important at the present moment to stimulate thought in Canada on our position in the developing world economy. The authors have been concerned about the inward-looking emphasis in recent Canadian discussions of policy and are asking if a "status quo" approach to commerce is desirable or possible at a time when other nations are endeavouring to strengthen their economies by new adventures in liberal trade, especially in the form of regional trade groups. Peace, prosperity, and national identity are among our most cherished social objectives: how do and should they influence policy in the area of international trade?
With this shared background of interest the three authors examine trading of the past and the present. H. Scott Gordon (Carleton University) surveys the nineteenth century, Harry G. Johnson (University of Chicago) describes the emergence of regional free trade areas, and Arthur J.R.Smith (Canadian-American Committee) discusses Canada's policy problems in the rapidly changing trading world.
The essays were originally prepared as lectures in a highly successful series given at Carleton University earlier in 1961. H.E. English, editor of the collection, also contributes an introduction and a report of the discussion of the papers. He is Associate Professor of Economics, Carleton University.