Poor Countries Need Market Access, Not “Assistance”
We at EyeOnISISinLibya and Libya-Analysis are free-traders. We think it would serve Libya and other countries to cut the red tape. We believe that cutting down tariff barriers will make the world a more prosperous and fairer place. Nate Mason, a partner at Eye on ISIS and President of Mason Trade Strategy LLC, is a deep thinker about trade. He has published a fascinating article about the hypocrisy and inefficiencies of wealthy countries’ development and trade policies.
In the current American political environment, free trade is widely condemned by both Democrats and Republicans in favor of international economic development work of one kind or another. Pretending free trade and international economic development are separate issues facilitates a self-serving narrative that allows Americans to feel good about themselves while maintaining exploitative and self-defeating policies toward poor countries…..
The governments of wealthy countries routinely impose and maintain prohibitive tariffs on products from poor countries and escalate those tariffs the more value is added (a higher EU tariff on roasted coffee than on raw beans, for example). This interferes with the ability of businesses in poor countries to move up the value chain. Of course, they do this to protect their own farmers, textile workers, and coffee roasters from competition. In lieu of market access, technical assistance is ironically provided to help businesses move up the same value chains that protectionist trade policies are expressly designed to make unattractive.
To read the whole article click here.