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Austrian Books on Free Trade?

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tcostel posted on Tue, Mar 29 2011 3:09 PM

Can anyone point me to some good books defending free trade and attacking protectionism? Also, if there are any more recent books, especially dealing with China, that would be great. Thanks!

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One of the best books on trade(Austrian or not) IMO is Manuel Ayau's Not a Zero Sum Game.


I know a few articles have been written on China and probably its trade situation on this site. There are also some more detailed works by Haberler and Viner that can be accessed on this site, but from your post I think I would still prefer the above for your purposes.

"When the King is far the people are happy."  Chinese proverb

For Alexander Zinoviev and the free market there is a shared delight:

"Where there are problems there is life."

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I am in the process of reading Not a Zero Sum Game, but I do have a confusion that maybe you or someone else can help explain. In the book, he makes the argument that "No matter what he produces, every exporter ends up with foreign currency as his final product." This confuses me.

Essentially, the exporter sells his product in a foreign country, and gets a foreign currency--but he must pay the costs of production with local currency. So, he sells the foreign currency to local importers who demand the foreign currency to buy foreign exports. That is where I get confused. If importers are buying foreign currency to buy foreign products, that means that foreign exporters will be paid not in the local currency of the importers but the foreign currency. So the exporter in the other country is paid not in foreign currency, but his own local currency. That makes the entire argument seem incorrect.

If importers buy foreign currency to obtain foreign goods, that means that foreign exporters will be paid in their own local currency for their products. Does my confusion have something to do with not understanding balance of payments? If anybody could clarify I would appreciate it.

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