Trade, Free and Fair
As most of us learned from our childhood friends, trade is an exchange freely agreed upon between parties so that each secures a benefit. That idea remains the working model for nations as well, but in practice the benefits tend to favor rich countries and tag poor ones as losers. This troublesome fact suggests that in its own policy the United States adopt several overdue reforms in order to move toward the goal of equitable trade. Otherwise, for the sake of a few short-range advantages this nation will be spreading hunger and poverty abroad.
The United States should remove barriers to free trade. The resurgence of protectionism reflects a short-sighted grasp of world realities, as well as defective leadership. Protective tariffs and import quotas work a particular hardship on poor countries, which need to develop markets as they industrialize. Virtually all economists agree that these barriers need to be reduced, if not eliminated, and the trend for several decades has been in that direction. Still, barriers are maintained and occasionally enlarged. The period of the early 1970s was marked by rising protectionist