Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forAugust 1st, 2004 | back to home

1 August 2004
Filed under:Current Affairs (World),Old media at11:25 am

As an instinctive free trader I am pleased to read that the World trade talks have reached agreement but I hope the developed world follows through promptly on its promise to eliminate some subsidies at a “date to be set”.

I was somewhat surprised to see the BBC essentially pushing the neo-liberal ‘party line’ though, saying, for example:

According to the World Bank, a successful final deal could add $520bn (£280bn; 420bn euros) to the world economy by 2015, if rich and developing countries cut their tariffs. Most of the benefit would, the World Bank believes, go to poorer countries.

Personally I believe this to be true but it’s hardly an uncontested claim. While there is discussion of “the iniquity of developed world farm subsidy”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3183139.stm (for example) I couldn’t find a part of the BBC’s news site (at least not the part linked from the front-page story) where they give space to the broader claims of the (self-proclaimed) “global justice movement”:http://www.weareeverywhere.org/ that free trade harms the poor more than it helps them.

Actually I am curious – where on the Internet should I look for a reasoned argument that free trade (free on both sides not just free entry to poorer countries by the rich) would be bad for the poorer ones?