India Uncut

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

It's in our hands

Tim Harford writes in the New York Times:
The Group of 20, composed of developing countries like Argentina, Brazil, China and India, has been pushing hardest of all for an end to rich countries' agricultural subsidies and tariffs. Paradoxically, some of the most vocal members of the group impose regulatory barriers that are just as crippling to exporters in their own countries. India's commerce minister, Kamal Nath, has called for rich countries to "eliminate export subsidies as fast as possible." And so they should, but Mr. Nath might take note that an Indian exporter needs to collect 22 signatures on 10 documents - that puts India in the bottom 20 countries in the world for letting its own entrepreneurs trade across borders.
Precisely. As James Glassman writes in Tech Central Station:
What will actually help people in developing countries the most is for their governments to cut their own barriers to trade, no matter what the rich countries do. [Emphasis in original.]
That is not to say, of course, that the USA and Europe aren't monstrously wrong in keeping their agricultural subsidies in place. But our salvation lies in our own actions.

Cross-posted on The Indian Economy Blog.
amit varma, 9:23 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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