Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Depressed About Doha

Brown and Paulson for free trade. They depress Stefan Geens:

RGE - Salvaging Doha: Brown and Paulson have a go: Salvaging Doha: Brown and Paulson have a go Stefan Geens | Nov 27, 2006 A strangely depressing op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal this morning: Two intelligent grown men -- U.K. chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown and U.S. Treasury secretary Hank Paulson -- reduced to arguing for free trade from first principles in a bid to salvage the Doha round of trade talks from protectionists among their own ranks. They're eloquent, however:

Despite the successes of trade and liberalization, protectionist forces would have us believe that increased trade and openness hurt the U.S. and the U.K. Maintaining rules and regulations that inhibit competition may appear to be a measure of self-preservation for domestic workers and companies. It is, in fact, self-defeating.

Nations are linked by trade more closely than ever before. So protectionist policies do not work, and the collateral damage from these policies is high. We must have the education and assistance to minimize and soften the dislocations that come from trade. But we must not, in the name of jobs that are becoming uncompetitive and unsustainable today, eliminate more jobs and higher wages tomorrow.

This is so self-evident, and yet here we are in 2006 making arguments for something that should have been settled conclusively decades ago.

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