clashing economic interests

World renowned trade scholar to speak to 36th Camden Conference

Sun, 01/22/2023 - 8:00am

    Should the United States be more open to commerce with other countries, or should it protect domestic industries from foreign competition?

    This question has been the source of bitter political conflict throughout American history, noted the University of Chicago Press in a review of Douglas Irwin’s book, Clashing over Commerce: A History of U.S. Trade Policy.

    Irwin, whom the Financial Times has called “one of the world’s foremost trade scholars,” is scheduled to speak at the 36th annual Camden Conference, Global Trade and Politics: Managing Turbulence. The event will be held February 17 – 19, 2023 in Camden, and will focus on the future of global commerce and how the interdependence of commerce, global politics and national security could be successfully managed for both competition and cooperation.

    Trade policy always involves clashing economic interests, noted the University of Chicago Press. “The struggle between the winners and losers from trade has always been fierce because dollars and jobs are at stake: depending on what policy is chosen, some industries, farmers, and workers will prosper, while others will suffer.” 

    Irwin is a leading expert on how the economies of major nations – including China, the United States, and nations of the European Union – interact in both positive and negative ways. His book, Clashing over Commerce: A History of U.S. Trade Policy, was named by The Economist and Foreign Affairs as one of their Best Books of the Year in 2017.

    Douglas Irwin is John French Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College. Irwin is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He worked on trade policy issues while on the staff of President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers and also worked in the International Finance Division at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C. Irwin is the current president-elect of the Economic History Association.

    Before joining Dartmouth, he taught at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. Irwin earned a Ph.D. in economics at Columbia University and his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire.

    The Camden Conference is a nonprofit, non-partisan, volunteer-driven citizens' forum with the mission of fostering informed discourse on world issues. Year-round public engagement through community events and student education programs culminates in an annual February weekend conference presented live on the stage of the Camden Opera House and livestreamed to venues in Maine and households around the world. For more information, please visit