Globalization is not a new story.Free trade has lifted three billion people out of poverty in the past 50 years. As economic policy, it's hard to beat.
When Masthead mast·head
1. Nautical The top of a mast.
2. The listing in a newspaper or periodical of information about its staff, operation, and circulation.
3. editor Kay Semion asked me to write a column about free trade, she made an interesting observation: Most editorial boards, whether liberal or conservative, seem to be free-traders by conviction.
Perhaps it's because editorial boards usually stick up for values like individual liberty and freedom from arbitrary government action. Perhaps it's because most newspapers believe in the power of economic growth to raise living standards living standards npl → nivel msg de vida
living standards living npl → niveau m de vie
living standards living npl . Perhaps it's because the arguments in favor of free trade are so convincing.
Still, many readers aren't sold on free trade, for a variety of reasons.
Unions worry about job losses. Protectionist sentiment in some communities remains strong, especially when one-industry towns are threatened by foreign competition. And a new generation of anti-globalization activists is starting to blame the ills of the world on free trade.
We saw them at the baffle of Seattle, and we saw them again in Quebec City in April at the Summit of the Americas The Summit of the Americas is the name for one of a sequence of summits bringing together the countries of the Americas for discussion of a variety of issues. These encounters are organized by a number of multilateral bodies led by the Organization of American States. (where 34 heads of state met to talk about a free-trade zone free-trade zone
Area within which goods may be landed, handled, and re-exported freely. The purpose is to remove obstacles to trade and to permit quick turnaround of ships and planes. that would stretch from Alaska to Argentina). A Free Trade Agreement of the Americas would open up new markets for developing nations and help sustain the economic liberalization Economic liberalization is a broad term that usually refers to less government regulations and restrictions in the economy in exchange for greater participation of private entities; the doctrine is associated with neoliberalism. already underway in Latin America Latin America, the Spanish-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking countries (except Canada) of North America, South America, Central America, and the West Indies. .
Yet opposition to it was fierce among the 25,000 protesters in Quebec City. Everything from environmental catastrophe to human rights abuse was blamed on trade liberalization lib·er·al·ize
v. lib·er·al·ized, lib·er·al·iz·ing, lib·er·al·iz·es
To make liberal or more liberal: "Our standards of private conduct have been greatly liberalized . . . .
Demonstrations against globalization globalization
Process by which the experience of everyday life, marked by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, is becoming standardized around the world. Factors that have contributed to globalization include increasingly sophisticated communications and transportation have, of course, become today's equivalent of Grateful Dead concerts, with the same groups showing up in city after city. But while many of the protesters are peaceful and well-intentioned, these self-appointed guardians of Third World interests would do well to read some economic history.
Globalization is not a new story. Since the 1950s, and especially in the past decade, countries that have been more open to trade and investment have grown twice as fast as others. This has helped to lift three billion people out of poverty during the post-war period, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. an estimate by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), international organization that came into being in 1961. It superseded the Organization for European Economic Cooperation, which had been founded in 1948 to coordinate the Marshall Plan for European .
Nowhere has this been more dramatic than in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, region of Asia (1990 est. pop. 442,500,000), c.1,740,000 sq mi (4,506,600 sq km), bounded roughly by the Indian subcontinent on the west, China on the north, and the Pacific Ocean on the east. . Today's Asian tigers -- South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore -- were largely closed economies in the 1950s and '60s. So were rapidly developing nations of today such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. As late as 1975, six out of 10 in Asia lived in absolute poverty (defined as less than $1 of income a day). Today, only two out of 10 face that plight.
Now look at what happened to countries that didn't embrace market liberalization. African nations such as Nigeria and Tanzania in the 1960s were at about the same level of development as Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. But most African nations have chosen to rely on protectionism, foreign aid, and an inefficient public sector. Today, the difference between the two continents is striking -- and tragic insofar in·so·far
To such an extent.
Adv. 1. insofar - to the degree or extent that; "insofar as it can be ascertained, the horse lung is comparable to that of man"; "so far as it is reasonably practical he should practice as Africa is concerned.
In Latin America, economic liberalization has already begun to help. Most nations have begun to abandon the old, discredited economic policies of the post-war years, such as a huge state presence in the economy, import substitution and the protection of domestic industry Tariffs have tumbled and trade has surged.
Even so, critics contend that globalization and free trade are making people poorer. That's simply not the case. While it's true that there is widening income inequality in many countries, that shouldn't be confused with income loss. A World Bank study of 130 countries found that in general the incomes of the bottom 20% have grown as fast as incomes overall. In fact, the poor benefit most from growth because they suffered most from past failures like runaway inflation, lack of investment, and huge foreign debts.
It's true that NAFTA NAFTA
in full North American Free Trade Agreement
Trade pact signed by Canada, the U.S., and Mexico in 1992, which took effect in 1994. Inspired by the success of the European Community in reducing trade barriers among its members, NAFTA created the world's still generates some controversy in North America but it's hard to see why NAFTA has been a remarkable success in Mexico, which has used the trade deal to become a rapidly rising economic star. Mexico is the now the eighth-largest export economy in the world. Trade liberalization and political change have gone hand in hand. The economic opening of Mexico coincided with the election of president Vicente Fox last year and the defeat of the corrupt PRI PRI: see Institutional Revolutionary party.
(Primary Rate Interface) An ISDN service that provides 23 64 Kbps B (Bearer) channels and one 64 Kbps D (Data) channel (23B+D), which is equivalent to the 24 channels of a T1 line. after 71 years of rule.
As far as the United States is concerned, Ross Perot's giant sucking sound The "giant sucking sound" was United States Presidential candidate Ross Perot's colorful phrase for what he believed would be the negative effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which he opposed. The phrase, coined during the 1992 U.S. never happened. Since NAFTA was signed, 20 million manufacturing jobs were added in the United States, and two million in Mexico. NAFTA didn't stop the United States from enjoying an unparalleled economic boom in the second half of the 1990s. Even America's trade deficit with Mexico and Canada is overrated Overrated was a Horde World of Warcraft guild, based on the US Black Dragonflight Realm. On November 2 2006, the majority of the guild members were indefinitely banned from the game for use of (or directly benefiting from) a third-party "wall-hack", used to bypass content .
From a Canadian perspective, free trade with the United States has been a godsend god·send
Something wanted or needed that comes or happens unexpectedly.
[Alteration of Middle English goddes sand, God's message : goddes, genitive of God, God . Canada runs a hefty trade surplus with the United States, and more than 85% of our exports head south of the border. Free trade helped sustain our economy during a brutal recession in the early '90s.
Free trade is not easy for everyone to swallow. It creates both winners and losers; it requires adjustment policies and retraining re·train
tr. & intr.v. re·trained, re·train·ing, re·trains
To train or undergo training again.
re·train for those whose jobs are displaced. Still, as a policy prescription for most economies, it's hard to beat.
NCEW NCEW National Conference of Editorial Writers member Peter Hadekel is editorial page editor of The Gazette in Montreal, Canada.
From an April 26 editorial in the Dallas Morning News by editorial Writer Timothy O'Leary
Spirit of Quebec
President Bush made a bold promise at the Pan-American summit in Quebec last weekend. He committed himself to obtain from Congress by year's end the enhanced authority to negotiate free-trade agreements called "fast track" or "trade promotion authority." It was the political equivalent of Babe Ruth pointing to the outfield bleachers before attempting to hit his next home run.
Like the legendary baseball slugger, Mr. Bush put his reputation on the line. He did it so that he would be able to sign a Pan-American free-trade agreement by 2005 (and, not incidentally, to launch a new round of global trade-liberalization talks in November in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar). His very public pledge will increase the pressure on him to succeed, and make it easier for other free-trade supporters to cast their lots with him. There's no going back on a commitment like that, not when the following year is an election year, when Congress would be especially loath to consider controversial trade initiatives. If he is serious about opening markets for U.S. goods and investment as far south as Chile, it's this year or never.
Success will require leadership. It will take a systematic, district-by-district fight to convince individual representatives and senators of the rightness of the project. Mr. Bush should not be above cajoling and arm-twisting, bluster and threats....
Fast track is often described as requiring Congress to vote on free-trade agreements in their entirety, without amendments. That isn't the half of it.
The essence of fast track is that Congress becomes a partner in the negotiations. In effect, it establishes a mechanism for countries to negotiate with the president and Congress simultaneously. In that manner, countries are more inclined to make their best offers, knowing that Congress won't intrude later to change the terms of the deal....
Mr. Bush and his advisers are fond of saying that good foreign policy starts in one's own neighborhood. If that's true, Congress has no more important foreign policy objective than to approve fast track so that the dream of a prosperous and entirely democratic Pan-America can be made real. Having pointed to the bleachers, Mr. Bush has no choice but to deliver a home run.