Liberals And Free Trade

Jul 21 2011 @ 5:03pm

There appears to be a tiff between the Obama administration and former Bush trade envoy Robert Zoellick about who's responsible for the failure of the Doha free-trade talks. David Bosco blames liberal election year politics. Jagdish Bhagwhati makes the moral case for free trade to the sort of liberals who Bosco thinks are styming the negotiations:

But then critics shift ground and argue that trade-driven growth benefits only the elites and not the poor; it is not “inclusive.” In India, however, the shift to accelerated growth after reforms that included trade liberalization has pulled nearly 200 million people out of poverty. In China, which grew faster, it is estimated that more than 300 million people have moved above the poverty line since the start of reforms.  In fact, developed countries benefit from trade’s effect on poverty reduction as well. Contrary to much popular opinion, trade with poor countries does not pauperize rich countries.