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When ‘Reform’ Means A Process Of Elimination

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But though WTO architects continued to use the language of “free trade,” they had left Ricardo’s idea of free trade behind. They weren’t just talking about tariffs anymore. They wanted to reach across national borders and into the domestic political life of post-colonial nations to block potential labor, environmental and consumer protection rules before they were written while guaranteeing broad rights to international investors. The same was true for a new slate of trade pacts former President Bill Clinton began signing into law beginning with NAFTA. These rules had little or nothing to do with Ricardo’s ideas about comparative advantage. They weren’t based on natural differences in climate, culture or expertise. They were an attempt to construct an international law that favored a particular brand of inegalitarian politics.


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Source : https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trumps-tariff-war-is-the-final-act-of-a-broken-system_us_5b48f061e4b022fdcc59390b

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