• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Social distancing? Try a better way to work remotely on your online files. Dokkio, a new product from PBworks, can help your team find, organize, and collaborate on your Drive, Gmail, Dropbox, Box, and Slack files. Sign up for free.


peace through trade - interdependence

Page history last edited by Brian D Butler 9 years, 5 months ago

see also:




Table of contents:





Types of Trade: 


  • products - trade goods, services - create interdependencies - less likely to fight if interdependent.  
  • places  - cultural exchanges, cross cultural training + understanding = key to peace (theory behind Erasmus_Programme and the need for Study Abroad programs by young people) 








The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)




**  Founder of Hilton Hotels: Hilton corporate motto of that time, "World Peace Through International Trade and Travel." [1]








"Borders frequented by trade seldom need soldiers"  - Dr. William Lytle Schurz, the second president at Thunderbird, School of Global Management.  


"Global managers who excel at creating, managing, and enhancing these interdependencies through successful and innovative best practices, in my opinion, have been and will continue contributing to a more peaceful and just world. I am proud to say that Thunderbird grads are consistently on the front lines of this effort."  [2]


"Entities that share a greater degree of interdependence also face a greater degree of risk in initiating negative conflicts that would degrade the overall prosperity of the entities involved. By entities, I refer to nations, states, organizations, corporations, communities, individuals, etc.



"The slogan, "if goods don t cross borders, armies will," is often attributed to Bastiat because he so forcefully made the case that free trade was perhaps the surest route to peace as well as prosperity. He understood that throughout history, tariffs had been a major cause of war. Protectionism, after all, is an attempt by governments to inflict on their own citizens in peacetime the same kinds of harm their enemies attempt (with naval blockades) during wars."    --   Schurz's original inspiration (pure speculation) for the phrase above--French economist, Claude Frederic Bastiat (1801 to 1850). Some further searches online led me to this nice summary of Bastiat's quote and philosophy [3]



"on page 255 of Jeffry Frieden’s Global Capitalism (2006) I find the following: "As one of [FDR's Secretary of State Cordell] Hull’s supporters put it, ‘If soldiers are not to cross international borders, goods must do so.’"[4]



"If soldiers are not to cross international boundaries, goods must do so. Unless shackles can be dropped from trade, bombs will be dropped from the sky. (Emphasis in the original.)"  from book Otto T. Mallery, "Economic Union and Enduring Peace," Annals 216 (July 1941): 125-134; quotations on p. 125."[5]



"Free trade unites us with other people in an ever-widening 'community of work' that provides a powerful alternative to conflict and war." Great. Interestingly, Thomas J. Watson, founder and chief executive officer of IBM Corp. and head of the International Chamber of Commerce, pushed this very idea hard in the 1930s -- as world peace through world trade." William H. Peterson is an adjunct scholar at the Heritage Foundation and at the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Ala.[6]


"Mr. Watson adopted for IBM the slogan, "World peace through world trade," and made it internationally known. He said he advocated "the exchange not only of goods and services but of men and methods, ideas and ideals." He worked closely with the International Chamber of Commerce and in 1937 was elected its president. [7]



"Sales people are usually reluctant to fight their customers"  WTO[8] 


Historical Impact:





  • "History is littered with examples of trade disputes turning into war. One of the most vivid is the trade war of the 1930s when countries competed to raise trade barriers in order to protect domestic producers and retaliate against each others’ barriers. This worsened the Great Depression and eventually played a part in the outbreak of World War 2."  [9]


  • "The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) was created in 1919 by business leaders who described themselves as 'merchants of peace' and whose motto was 'world peace through world trade'. Since then a number of initiatives, including the founding of the WTO in 1995, have provided the proper regulatory conditions for a dramatic increase in world trade."  book here


After WWII


  • While the ideas of "peace through trade" may have been widely expressed prior to WWII, it wasnt until after the war that the concepts became mainstream by the intellectual elite and powerful.  Near the end of the war, the idea that "trade could lead to peace" was prominent during the Breton Woods conference (following WWII).   It was a central theme that led to many of the institutions ....



  • Two developments immediately after the Second World War helped to avoid a repeat of the pre-war trade tensions.
    1. In Europe, international cooperation developed in coal, and in iron and steel.
    2. Globally, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was created.  
  • Both have proved successful, so much so that they are now considerably expanded — one has become the European Union, the other the World Trade Organization (WTO).[10]


  • In Europe, Schuman Declaration:  "a common market in coal and steel between the six founding countries (Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands). The aim, in the aftermath of World War Two, was to secure peace between Europe’s victorious and vanquished nations and bring them together as equals, cooperating within shared institutions."[11]







Institutions founded - based on this line of thinking:


After WWII


  1. World Bank
  2. IMF
  3. GATT... which later became the WTO
  4. ECC ... which later became the European Union



Two competing theories in Europe:



  1. Trade for peace
    1. UK, US - "Anglo-Saxon" model 
    2. Free trade zone is not just "enough", but any more is "not desirable" 
    3. favored less political integration, more free trade 
    4. Think NAFTA - free trade zone, but NOT a political integration of US & Mexico - no single market, no dreams of single currency, no free movement of people (wall along border)
  2. Integration for peace
    1. France, Germany, BENELUX - "continental model"
    2. Free trade alone is not enough to ensure peace on the continent (not after experience of 3 major wars in 60 years 
    3. Need more
    4. Political integration in addition to "single market" (free trade) is necessary to ensure peace
    5. Result of this line of thinking?:  Commission, European Parliament -- push for more supra-national (less inter-governmental) organization of Europe
    6. Think European Union - more than just a free trade zone - includes dream of single market, single currency, free movement of people, goods, service, and capital.







Links - see also:   



Books & Papers:


  • "World Peace though World Trade:" William H. Peterson is an adjunct scholar at the Heritage Foundation and at the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Ala. [12]



  • "Peace and Prosperity through World Trade":



"The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) was created in 1919 by business leaders who described themselves as 'merchants of peace' and whose motto was 'world peace through world trade'. Since then a number of initiatives, including the founding of the WTO in 1995, have provided the proper regulatory conditions for a dramatic increase in world trade. This has generated unprecedented growth and allowed many countries to enjoy great gains in wealth and welfare. Yet despite these gains we are still far from achieving the ICC's goal of world peace through world trade. This book provides a broad overview of the forces that shape international trade and global interdependence, showing business leaders and entrepreneurs how we can address the shortcomings of the multilateral trading system. Most importantly, it shows how we can turn international trade into one of the key global instruments to achieve peace and prosperity in the twenty-first century."  Purchase book here:  




  1. http://moversandshakersofthesmom.blogspot.com/2008/09/conrad-n-hilton.html
  2. http://www.xborderjournal.com/2008/07/borders-frequented-by-trade-seldom-need-soldiers.html
  3. http://www.xborderjournal.com/2008/07/borders-frequented-by-trade-seldom-need-soldiers.html
  4. http://cafehayek.com/2007/05/who_said_it.html
  5. http://antidismal.blogspot.com/2009/04/bastiat-quote-or-non-quote-2.html
  6. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/21/world-peace-through-world-trade/?page=2
  7. http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/biography/10152.wss
  8. WTO website: http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/10ben_e/10b01_e.htm
  9. WTO website: http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/10ben_e/10b01_e.htm
  10. WTO website: http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/10ben_e/10b01_e.htm
  11. http://europa.eu/abc/12lessons/lesson_2/index_en.htm
  12. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/21/world-peace-through-world-trade/?page=2

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.