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Re: World Bank Study Contradicts Its Free-Trade Income Theories
by Steven Howard
05 September 2002 18:31 UTC
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It is interesting that the World Bank Study can comment on whether Free
Trade is beneficial when the reality of free trade in the world today is
that it is mostly rhetoric as far as the goods and services that affect poor
and agrarian countries goes.  The US and EU still maintain fantasically huge
subsidies to their farm sectors and continue to dump the resulting product
on world markets - thereby cutting prices to the poor and to farmers who do
not have luxury of being coddled in this way.

The thought that we have Free Trade is a well promoted and dangerous
illusion, that allows backers of both sides of the free trade debate to side
step the real issues of how poverty is caused and maintained in much of the
world through self interest, political expediency, and greed.

If the US and EU were to open their borders to allow genuine free trade in
food and agricultural goods then maybe some of these would have a chance to
make a decent living.  As it stands today not only do these countries enjoy
restricted access to markets in the wealthy countries through tarrifs and
quotas, they also have barriers to surmount in the form of health and safety
standards which require sophisticated and expensive food processing and
inspection infrastructures.

Even a relatively well-off country like New Zealand where I live struggles
with the protectionist policies of the EU and US - and has done so for the
last 30 years. We are subject to quotas in Europe on our dairy exports and
recently even lamb exports to the US were impacted by efforts to protect US
sheep farmers.  Only a couple of months ago our relatively small steel
industry was severly impacted by the US tarrifs on steel imports.

To say Free Trade has failed the poor is simplistic given the fact that as
far as many are concerned free trade has not actually been
implemented -largely because the terms of "Free Trade" are dictated by the
rich countries in the interests of a few.

Steven Howard steven.howard@stevenhoward.com
ICQ#: 27020277
Web: www.stevenhoward.com
Leap into the future first with your mind, your body can only follow.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Carl Nordlund" <carl.nordlund@humecol.lu.se>
To: <wsn@csf.colorado.edu>
Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2002 9:47 PM
Subject: VB: World Bank Study Contradicts Its Free-Trade Income Theories

> Hi all,
> Just got this from a colleague - might be of interest. It's from the
> globalfarmcrisis mailing list.
> Carl
> >Subject: [globalfarmcrisis] World Bank Study Contradicts Its Free-Trade
> Income
> >  Theories

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