International trade is the commutation of superfluities. Smith accounted for it in terms of absolute advantage and Ricardo with reference to comparative advantage. Porter argued for competitive advantage because entrepreneurs do not assume fixed endowments but rather shift the production possibilities outward through growth that never approaches an equilibrium. After 1945 the nations, not wanting a return to the beggar-my-neighbour economics of the 1930s, attempted to establish a constitution for trade through the International Trade Organisation (never launched), the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs and the World Trade Organisation. The coverage was broadened to include non-tariff barriers, services (GATS), intellectual property rights (TRIPS) and foreign direct investment (TRIMS).

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