In the first Italian industrial take-off between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the economist Gino Borgatta, a pupil of Luigi Einaudi, was among the most convinced supporters of free trade policy. However, this attitude evolved during the thirties, when protectionism was presented by Borgatta as an instrument that, under certain conditions and within autarchic politics, could be profitably used to reach political as well as economic objectives. Similarly, corporatism was also presented as not necessarily limiting private initiative, demonstrating Borgatta’s attempt to reconcile his past as a supporter of free trade with his new role as consultant to the Fascist regime.
Gino Borgatta. Luigi Einaudi. Free trade. Protectionism. Autarchy. Corporatism.