The fall of free trade in Britain in the 1930s resulted in greater national self-sufficiency and the emergence of trading blocs. The new trade policy has been interpreted as the belated abandonment of an open multilateral trade system, best suited to the interests of an ascendant economic power, but by then anachronistic. In its place Britain substituted a preferential system, possibly aimed at the perpetuation of dominance in a more restricted sphere. By the late 1930s, it has been argued, disillusionment with imperial preference contributed towards rapprochement with the United States, notably in the Anglo-American Trade Agreement of 1938. This in turn marked an important step on the road to Bretton Woods and to the eventual restoration of a multilateral economy in the post-1945 era, this time under American leadership.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Economic History Review|
|Publication status||Published - May 1984|