Context, context
Posted by aogSunday, 11 May 2008 at 14:25 TrackBack Ping URL

Why do people who oppose free trade also think that sanctions are an effective punishment? Isn’t opposing treaties such as the recent free trade agreement with Columbia effectively imposing sanctions on the USA?

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Bret Sunday, 11 May 2008 at 20:29

In case those aren’t rhetorical questions, the idea is that the US loses and everyone else gains by trading with us.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 12 May 2008 at 06:42

That kind of undercuts the whole “mercantilist imperialism” meme, doesn’t it? I.e., that American companies loot and destroy innocent third world people and cultures.

There’s an excellent riff on this subject in The Guide to the Complete Latin American Idiot.

Bret Monday, 12 May 2008 at 10:39

It doesn’t look to me like those opposing free-trade in the reason article necessarily think sanctions are a punishment.

I was assuming you were referring to union representatives and similar groups which think that the US loses (or at least the groups they represent do) and that everyone else gains by trading with us.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 12 May 2008 at 10:51

Then what’s the problem with the sanctions against Cuba? It’s the same people arguing that not trading with Cuba has kept it poor, and that trading with the rest of Latin America has kept it poor.

In the original post, that’s part of who I was referring to, but also various lights in the Democratic Party firmament.

Bret Monday, 12 May 2008 at 11:49

aog wrote: “It’s the same people arguing that not trading with Cuba has kept it poor, and that trading with the rest of Latin America has kept it poor.

Can you identify a specific person who has made both those claims? Or is it different people?

The bottom line is that both Cuba and Latin America are poor and since everything must be the US’s fault, it follows that not trading with one and trading with the other must be the reason. :-)

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 12 May 2008 at 12:16

The cited book has quite a lot of names. I would need to dig out my copy. I was thinking more institutionally, for instance the Democratic Party, which held as policy that sanctions were working against the Ba’ath regime in Iraq, but opposes free trade with Columbia, i.e. sanctions imposed on the USA with regard to such trade would benefit the USA.

But I would bet that you’d find a lot of common names associated with the “giant sucking sound” from NAFTA and opposition to the Cuba embargo.

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