Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Triumph of Free Trade!

After the setback in Seattle and Cancun, the WTO's plan to phase out trade barriers and subisidies in agricultural trade has achieved a breakthrough tonight (Hong Kong time). Read the WTO's Draft Ministerial Declaration here and a WSJ report here.

Long before WTO MC 6, free trade guru Jagdish Bhagwati has argued that it is too soon to call the Doha round a failure. He is right. Read his article here.

May be the fact that breakthrough in negotiations over worldwide trade liberalization happens in Hong Kong but not in Doha or Seattle should not come as a surprise...Nothing can convince the skeptics of free trade better than for them to see first hand what miracle free trade can bring.

When they are in Hong Kong and see for themselves how free trade has transformed Hong Kong from an island barely noticeable on the map to become one of the most advanced economies in the world, how can they possibly deny the existence of great benefits from free trade any more?

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