domingo, diciembre 03, 2006

Paralysing Trade

El economista Robert Samuelson expresa su preocupación respecto al humor estadounidense con relación al libre comercio:

Just last week, Democratic congressional leaders signaled they might oppose new trade agreements with Colombia and Peru. Who, if anyone, would benefit is unclear...

We are dealing with something new here. It transcends traditional protectionism, which tries to shield specific industries and workers from imports. It's trade obstructionism: a reflexive reaction against almost any trade agreement. The idea is that much trade is inherently "unfair.'' ...

Every three months, 7 million to 8 million U.S. jobs disappear, and roughly an equal or greater number are created. Trade is a relatively minor factor in job loss.

It is, however, an easy scapegoat. It enables critics to blame foreigners and suggest a solution -- restrict trade. Globalization becomes a convenient explanation for many economic discontents, from job insecurity to squeezed living standards.

Hence, trade obstructionism...

The next Congress must decide whether it embraces the symbolism or reality of trade. If it chooses symbolism, it will perversely harm many of the workers it's trying to help.

(Vía Trade Diversion. El tema también se debatió en el blog de Greg Mankiw y en Economist´s View)

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