When the French Banned Indian Textiles


Beginning in 1686, and continuing for the next 75 years, France banned the import of Indian cotton textiles and their imitations produced elsewhere. The reason for the ban was that the textiles had become popular among French consumers to the detriment of French wool and linen manufacturers. The ban was widely defied by smugglers and consumers, causing the French government to resort to draconian enforcement measures. In turn, the measures prompted a spirited public debate about free trade, one of Europe’s first. This case study provides an opportunity for readers to reflect on the effects of creative destruction and measures to restrict economic competition.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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