The doctrine of free trade is facing new challenges today. As one surveys the policy arena, questions are raised about free trade by those who worry about Japan (and today this includes many more than the "revisionists") and who argue that free trade with Japan is not gainful. Several environmentalists as well oppose free trade with passion. These concerns relate to what now is called the absence of "level playing fields": "fair trade" as a precondition of free trade is the battle cry.
There is also the fear that free trade, even if efficient, hurts the unskilled and thus immiserizes the proletariat: Marx (who predicted such immiserization unsuccessfully) may be striking again. Indeed, this concern with distributive justice resonates most with the intriguing title of this conference: the Morality of Protectionism.
International Trade Law | Law | Law and Economics
Jagdish N. Bhagwati,
Challenges to the Doctrine of Free Trade,
N.Y.U. J. Int'l L. & Pol.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/3142