For much of the post-war period, Australia’s economy was relatively insulated from international trade. In part, insulation reflected the costs arising from distance. However, the high levels of assistance provided to import-competing manufacturing during, and after World War II, also played an important role. Taken as a share of GDP, gross trade declined from the relatively high levels it had earlier achieved (Figure 1). By the 1960s, when trade levels in the other industrial countries were booming, Australia’s trade share seemed unreasonably low (Kuznets 1959).