Author: Jagdish N. Bhagwati Council on Foreign Relations
Newspaper and magazine stories refer to a "loss of nerve", even a "loss of faith" in free trade by economists. When presidential candidates are challenged by free trade proponents, they typically say: "Ah, but economists no longer have a consensus on free trade." But the truth of the matter is that free trade is alive. The analytical arguments in favor of trade have hardly been dented by its critics, such as Alan Blinder, arrayed against it.
The WTO talks between the G-4 nations—Brazil, India, the United States and the European Union—have collapsed yet again, and the U.S.'s inability to respond to long-standing, world-wide demands for the reduction of its (and the EU's) agricultural subsidies are mostly to blame, argue Jagdish Bhagwati and Arvind Panagariya.
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