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Monday, August 01, 2005

krugman on cafta

I'm obviously not a big fan of Paul Krugman, but he is smart and his specialty is international trade, so I hope he devotes some time to looking at CAFTA in detail. Until then, we have this tidbit from today's column:
[...]Cafta contains "free trade" in its title, but that's misleading. The administration rammed the bill through the House by, among other things, promising to limit imports of clothing from China; over all, the effect may well be to reduce, not increase, international trade. But pharmaceutical companies got measures that protect and extend their monopoly rights in Central America.
Krugman's quite right. CAFTA is not merely corporate welfare, not just managed trade instead of free trade, but it may well reduce international trade. Surprise, surprise, "free trade" is just another area where the Bush administration has decided to reward its backers rather than push for a truly beneficial policy.

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