It is generally accepted that the depression years of the 1930s were the most overtly protectionist era of the twentieth century. Depressionary pressures induced most trading nations to become more inward-looking. By contrast, the post-war era, certainly until the oil shock of 1973, has been a period of sustained growth of output and trade. In part this can be directly attributed to the dismantling of protective barriers erected during the inter-war years, while in part it is attributable to the unprecedented technological development which has taken place.
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