The views of Keynes on Trade policy are clear: Protectionism as well as hoarding a surplus in the balance of payment are wrong. This paper analyzes the optimality of protectionist policies and having a surplus in the context of the international political system. I show that in the situation of a hegemonic country, all classes - the working class as well as the elite - opt for free trade. But, in a balance of power context, wherein no single actor on the international scene possesses hegemonic status, the working class will choose protectionism, having a surplus, asking for harsh reparations, while the transnational elite and Keynes will not.
Balance of Power Carthaginian Peace Hegemony Reparations National Sovereignty Trade Policy