In an international political economy characterised both by constancy and change, this study, first published in 1996, links together one seemingly incongruous continuity in international trade relations with an increasingly dramatic development in the economies of industrial countries. On the one hand, industrialised countries have become progressively dependent upon one another. On the other hand, the liberal international trade regime has yet to falter. These two points are tied together by seeking to explain the maintenance of liberal trade relations in terms of the mutual economic dependence of industrial countries. In particular, the study examines what may be a fundamental constraint on trade protectionism today: the reliance of industrialised countries on external trade relations, and especially on markets within the industrial world.