Nations that opened their markets to the global flood of cheap grain under

Nations that opened their markets to the global flood

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, at least in food. Nations that opened their markets to the global flood of cheap grain (under pressure from previous administrations as well as the World Bank and the I.M.F.) lost so many farmers that they now find their ability to feed their own populations hinges on decisions made in Washington (like your predecessor’s precipitous embrace of biofuels) and on Wall Street. They will now rush to rebuild their own agricultural sectors and then seek to protect them by erecting trade barriers . Expect to hear the phrases “food sovereignty” and “food security” on the lips of every foreign leader you meet. Not only the Doha round, but the whole cause of free trade in agriculture is probably dead, the casualty of a cheap food
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policy that a scant two years ago seemed like a boon for everyone. It is one of the larger paradoxes of our time that the very same food policies that have contributed to overnutrition in the first world are now contributing to undernutrition in the third. But it turns out that too much food can be nearly as big a problem as too little — a lesson we should keep in mind as we set about designing a new approach to food policy. Protectionism causes extinction Miller and Elwood ’88 (Miller and Elwood, 1988 International Society for Individual Liberty , , gender modified TRADE WARS: BOTH SIDES LOSE When the government of Country "A" puts up trade barriers against the goods of Country "B", the government of Country "B" will naturally retaliate by erecting trade barriers against the goods of Country "A". The result? A trade war in which both sides lose. But all too often a depressed economy is not the only negative outcome of a trade war . . . WHEN GOODS DON'T CROSS BORDERS, ARMIES OFTEN DO History is not lacking in examples of cold trade wars escalating into hot shooting wars : Europe suffered from almost non-stop wars during the 17th and 18th centuries, when restrictive trade policy (mercantilism) was the rule ; rival governments fought each other to expand their empires and to exploit captive markets. British tariffs provoked the American colonists to revolution, and later the Northern-dominated US government imposed restrictions on Southern cotton exports - a major factor leading to the American Civil War. In the late 19th Century, after a half century of general free trade (which brought a half-century of peace), short-sighted politicians throughout Europe again began erecting trade barriers. Hostilities built up until they eventually exploded into World War I. In 1930, facing only a mild recession, US President Hoover ignored warning pleas in a petition by 1028 prominent economists and signed the notorious Smoot-Hawley Act, which raised some tariffs to 100% levels. Within a year, over 25 other governments had retaliated by passing similar laws. The result? World trade came to a grinding halt, and the entire world was plunged into the "Great Depression " for the rest of the decade. The depression in turn led to World War II . THE #1 DANGER TO WORLD
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