Writing in this week’s Science (who knew economics was a science?), economists Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Rudiger von Arnim argue that the trade liberalization deck is stacked against the developing world, especially sub-Saharan Africa (sub. req.):
Whatever the right assumptions are, all the different models come to essentially the same conclusion: Global gains of a Doha trade agreement are miniscule relative to world GDP and mostly accrue in large and more developed countries. The poorest countries might very well lose.
Poor countries can benefit from South-South trade. If global trade reduces barriers BUT raises food prices, it’s better to give them direct income support (rather than block trade!)
If you’re interested in this turf, I recommend Leclerc & Hall, Making World Development Work. I’ve done a long review there, but briefly, there are a lot of cautionary tales from a *good* place, Costa Rica. It’s a huge book, but maybe a nearby library has it.
and mostly accrue in large and more developed countries. The poorest countries might very well lose.
Of course. Nothing new here.