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Why was 1940-1990 known as the “golden age of international trade”?

The text states, “China’s exports surged after its 2001 entry into the WTO. From 1991 to 2012, China’s share of world manufacturing rose from 4.1% to 24%, transforming it into a global factory that has lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese out of poverty.” One author stated, “allowing China into the WTO was the worst political and economic mistake in American history in the last 100 years.” Do you agree? How has this changed international trade?
The text states, “In the aftermath of WWII, a famous 1945 State Department document titled Proposals for Expansion of World Trade and Employment made the case that a system of international free trade could help avoid another global catastrophe. Unless countries act together, the document stated, they will act at cross purposes and may well do serious damage to each other. But if they do act together, there is every possibility that the peoples of the world may enjoy, in our lifetime, a higher degree of prosperity and welfare than they have ever had before.” This was the thought behind the formation of the European Union. Do you think the world is safer due to trade liberalization? Justify your answer.
Would a push towards a more protectionist US trade policy be “a broad retreat from the leading role that the US has played in shaping the post-WWII global economic order”?

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