Worker Adjustment Assistance: The Failure & The Future

O'Hara, Steven T. | January 1, 1983

Free trade has long raised the specter of job loss to a wide range of American workers, particularly in periods of recession. Today, with the weakening of free-trade supporters, and the corresponding protectionist pressure mounting, Congress may be taking its eye of the long term benefits of free trade and focusing instead on the short-term, politically attractive benefits of protectionism. This Comment argues, however, that protectionism will in fact add many new faces to America’s unemployment lines, and prolong the world recession – for protectionism invites retaliation, and no nation is so insulated from the world economy that it can pursue protectionism without suffering itself from resulting protectionism.