Free Trade But Only If It Helps Us

According to AP,

The Bush administration, trying to energize flagging global trade talks, announced Tuesday that it will seek the total elimination of all tariffs on manufactured goods [emphasis mine] over the next 13 years.

When I read this news, the words “manufactured goods” jumped out at me. I would guess that this proposal will basically help the industrialized countries. How about reducing the tariffs on agricultural products to help the developing world?

UPDATE: CalPundit has also blogged on this story, linking it to terrorism.

UPDATE II: To be fair, according to the NY Times:

The White House came up with a similar plan last summer to reduce agricultural tariffs and subsidies. That plan called for reducing tariffs from an average of 62 percent to 15 percent over five years. But the plan calls for the deepest tariff cuts by countries with the highest duties, and it has been greeted coldly by the European Union.

By Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer


  1. The story hasn’t been carried too far, but I think the american press if giving it a very positive spin.

    Odd, since as you say, it is the type of tariff reduction that would most help rich countries. The Americans are not proposing reduced agricultural tarriffs or, perhaps even more important, limiting the use of anti-dumping tariffs

    How much you want to bet no major news outlet will pick up that angle, nor will very many other American opinion sites.

  2. I have an update on the item, since NY Times mentions that the White House did talk about a similar plan for agricultural products earlier which went nowhere.

    I haven’t searched for the earlier story though.

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