• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Free Trade Fact of the Day

    We know liberals in Congress no longer believe in free trade, but what about the world’s self described Marxists? If PoliticalAffairs.net, the destination for “Marxist thought online”, is any indication, Marxists are no fan of free trade and blame it for the world’s food crisis:

    For decades, neo-liberal trade liberalisation and structural adjustment policies have been imposed on poor countries by the World Bank and the IMF. … These countries have been forced to open their markets to global agribusiness and subsidised food exported from rich countries. In that process, fertile lands have been diverted away from serving local food markets to producing global commodities or off-season and high-value crops for western supermarkets, turning many poor countries into net importers of food.

    But as Thompson Ayodele, Executive Director of the Initiative for Public Policy Analysis in Lagos, it is not free trade, but protectionism that is to blame for poor food production in Africa:

    Nigeria at different times has banned the importation of various staples including wheat, rice, maize and vegetable oil. Such restrictions may indeed protect local industry for a short time, but it punishes consumers immediately and discourages production in the long run. Protectionism from competition and innovation allows local producers to hike up prices on lower-quality goods. Relaxing these restrictive trade practices will increase the availability of food and a fall in prices.

    Unless crop yields increase, the reserves will in a short time be depleted. While importing staple foods could complement the present shortfall, many countries have counter-productive bans or restrictions on the export of such items. Aside from the fact that these do not actually stimulate local production, it protects it from competition. Lack of competition undermines innovation, raises prices and damages quality.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×