Dani Rodrik: As I said, you know, when you talk about trying to create good jobs and improving incomes overall, and life chances, I would my first, second, and third priority on the kind of domestic programs that we've been talking about, because that's really where the action is. Now, where would I stand on trade policy? I'm not a fundamentalist on the question of free trade. And I think that there might be circumstances when, you know, your domestic programs are falling short; and that you need to establish some space for protecting some of employment in particular regions that might be adversely affected. And, I wouldn't be doctrinaire in saying that kind of protection sometimes can be warranted in order to protect jobs that might be economically inefficient but then has the other benefits of people creating people's--people employed--and creating sort of the vitality of these communities sustained. And, again, it's not my first, second, and third option; but I can see how it could play a role. And let me give you an example of when this did happen and I think was generally successful. Prior to the creation of the World Trade Organization [WTO], world trade rules were much more flexible, as you know, so that countries could resort to protectionism much more easily. And there were two significant instances when the United States availed itself of this flexibility to increase protectionism significantly. And, in doing so, I think managed to buy some time, without giving the world trade regime significant--without significantly hampering world trade or undermining the world trade regime. But I think with hindsight those were instances where the trading of some gains from trade against upholding social contract and social stability paid off. And those two instances I have in mind is first, in the 1970s, the Multifiber Arrangement [MFA], which was a way of rich countries like the United States imposing higher import barriers--tariffs and in particular quantitative restrictions, quotas--on low-cost textiles from what were then called newly-industrializing countries. And then, in the 1980s, the use of Voluntary Export Restraints, mainly against Japan, in steel, in autos, and other areas. These were examples of economically inefficient policies which economists roundly condemned, but which I think with hindsight look a lot better than they did at the time. Neither did significant damage to the world trade regime, as I said. In fact, they were, to use the term of a political science colleague of mine, they were 'system maintenance': they weren't norm-breaking but actually system maintenance departures from the rules. So, in other words, they actually reinforced the system acting as sort of a safety valve or escape valve to let some of the pressure escape. What we lost, I think, after the 2000s, was that kind of flexibility. So, I don't think the United States would have been significantly worse off in the 2000s if it had occasionally protected certain communities or certain sectors. And, if as a result of this, we would not have gotten this much worse and much more senseless nativist protectionist trade backlash that is being led now today by President Trump. So I think these are the questions that we need to ask ourselves. I don't know that we will ever know the counterfactual, whether in fact I am right that if the United States in the 2000s had the kind of flexibility that it had in the 1970s and 1980s, and to be in what you would call more protectionist, whether in fact would have been better off and had a sounder trade regime today. And that we would have less room for a nativist waving a protectionist flag coming to office or not. So, we don't know. But I'm saying that after the 1980s, what we got was, you know, hyper-globalization. What Reagan did was to protect, to increase protection; but at the end we didn't undermine the open trade regime.
Russ Roberts: And, with Reagan, you are referring to the Voluntary Export Restraints--
Dani Rodrik: Exactly--
Russ Roberts: which is a euphemism for the threat of quotas. But, we asked Japan, the United States asked Japan, Reagan asked Japan to restrict "voluntarily." Then of course the result of that was to move a lot of--every Japanese automaker moved a factory to the United States. Nissan is in Sparta, Tennessee; Honda is in Ohio; and I think Toyota is in Kentucky. So, they found non-union places to put factories that--I don't know, maybe those were good for the skillset of workers there who otherwise would have struggled. But--
Dani Rodrik: But the genius of the Voluntary Export Restraints was--I mean, I'm not--you know, as long as we are creating good jobs, I don't care whether they are union jobs or not, although I favor unions because I do think workers should be organized and have means for collectively bargaining against, with management. But the genius of the Voluntary Export Restraints was precisely how they distributed this cost of the adjustment, because they said, 'You know, look: We need some space for our domestic labor markets, our domestic industries; but we understand that your enterprises are going to suffer a cost. So, why don't you keep some of the rents, and some of the benefits?' and therefore allowed Japan to administer these export restraints, as you said. And then Japan kept those rents. It was the same, by the way, in the MFA--that, the quotas under the Multifiber Arrangement were administered by the exporting countries. So, you know, this was an understanding, that both sides got something out of it, albeit at the usual cost of higher consumer prices. Yeah--I think these are--again, with hindsight, these bargains don't look nearly as bad as they did at the time. Because they maintained the system.
Russ Roberts: Well, but one of the reasons that they "looked bad" at the time, were, people like me and other market fundamentalists like myself, we said, 'These are costly.' We might have been wrong, of course, about that. It's--I don't think anyone thought they would be, you know, destructive to the future economy of the United States, but we did argue at the time that they would raise prices--as you say. They would encourage cronyism, which I think has been the case. I think we have a problem there with--those restrictions that you're saying weren't as costly as we thought--of course, they weren't put in place because somebody thought it was good for policy overall. They thought it was good for particular geographic areas that had political representation that was powerful enough to get them for those groups but not for others. And that's led to a more complicated set of encouragements, incentives, that I'm deeply unhappy and concerned about in all kinds of industries. The risk of these kinds of industrial policy interventions, whether it's protectionism or subsidies, is always that very bad decisions get made for what seem to be good reasons, and are difficult to stop in a republic like ours with few constitutional constraints. Increasingly few.
Dani Rodrik: Well, even though these are cases where precisely they were used for temporarily and then they were removed.
Russ Roberts: That's a good point.

先ほど申し上げたように、良い職を創出して全体の所得を改善し、人生の機会を向上させるという点については、我々が今まで話してきたような国内政策は優先順位が高いと私も思います。それが本当の政策行動だからです。では、貿易政策についての私の立場はどうでしょうか? 私は自由貿易については原理主義者ではありません。国内政策が力不足で、逆風を受ける特定の地域の一部の雇用を守るための余裕を作らねばならない状況が生じることがある、と私は思います。そうした保護主義が、経済的には非効率的かもしれない職を保護するために時には必要で、共同体を維持する活力を被雇用者などの人々にもたらしてくれるという便益もある、という点について教条的になるつもりはありません。繰り返しになりますが、これは私にとって優先順位の高い政策ではないのです。しかし、そうした政策が果たす役割もあると思います。実際に実施されて、私が思うに全般として成功した事例を紹介しましょう。世界貿易機関WTO)の創設前は、世界の貿易ルールはかなり柔軟で、保護主義に訴求するのが今よりかなり簡単でした。米国自身がこの柔軟性を利用して保護主義を顕著に高めた2つの重要な事例があります。その実施によって大きく世界貿易を阻害したり世界貿易体制を傷つけたりすることなく時間を買うことができた、と私は思います。後から見れば、貿易による利得の一部を、社会契約ならびに社会の安定の維持と引き換えにして成功した事例だった、というのが私の考えです。その2つの事例とは、1つは1970年代の多国間繊維取り決め(MFA*1)で、米国のような富裕国が、当時新興工業国と呼ばれた国からの低コストの繊維品に対し、貿易障壁――関税のほか、とりわけ量的な規制である数量割当――を高める施策でした。それから1980年代には、主に日本を対象に実施された、鉄鋼、自動車などについての輸出自主規制がありました。これらは経済学者が大いに非難した経済的には非効率な政策ですが、振り返ってみれば当時思われたよりもはるかに良く見える政策だと私は考えます。先ほど申し上げたように、どちらも世界貿易に大きなダメージを与えることはありませんでした。実際のところ、私の同僚の政治学者の言葉を借りれば、それらは「システムメンテナンス」だったのです。つまり、それらは規範を破るものではなく、実際にはシステムメンテナンスのためにルールから離れるというものだったのです。言い換えれば、圧力を幾らか逃がすための一種の安全弁ないし逃し弁のように機能して、実際にはシステムを強化したのです。私が思うに、2000年代以降に失われたのは、そうした柔軟性です。ですので、2000年代に米国が時々一部の共同体や部門を保護したとしても、顕著に状況が悪化することは無かったと思います。そうしていれば、トランプ大統領が今日主導しているような、ここまでひどく無分別で排斥的な保護貿易主義の揺り戻しが生じることもなかったでしょう。これが我々が自分に問い掛けるべき疑問だと私は思います。いつかこの反実仮想の結果を知ることがあるかどうか、2000年代の米国が1970年代や1980年代に持っていたような自由度を持っていて、より保護主義的と言われるであろう政策を実施していたら本当に状況が改善していて、今日の貿易体制がより健全なものとなっていて、排斥主義者が保護主義の旗を振りながら職場にやってくるような余地が少なくなっていたかどうかは分かりません。これについては我々は分からないのです。ただ、1980年代以降にハイパーグローバリゼーションが生じた、とは言えると思います。レーガンが行ったのは保護を高めることでしたが、開放的な貿易体制を傷付ける結果には終わりませんでした。