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  • WTO Director: Protectionists are "Shooting their own Foot"

    As the world continues to deal with the global economic downturn, Pascal Lamy, the Director-General of the World Trade Organization, publicly urged all nations to overcome protectionist instincts as they work to return growth to their national economies.

    Lamy made his remarks while speaking to the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Australian think tank.

    Director-General Pascal Lamy said protectionist instincts are completely understandable in the current economic climate but that such regulations would be equivalent to “shooting their own foot.”

    “People want to protect their jobs, they want to protect their pensions, or their money in the markets,” Lamy said in a speech at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney. “But smart protectionism is a total oxymoron. It doesn’t work.”

    The only answer to the economic crisis, Lamy said, is to stimulate trade and spending.

    Director Lamy singled out nations with a known history of being protectionist in their trade policies for the patience they are exhibiting.  Lamy gave credence to Australia and New Zealand for all they have done to ensure trade routes remain free, as well as Southeast Asian economic powerhouses Japan and South Korea.

    Special recognition was given to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva who turned back proposed increases quotas and tariffs on nearly 60 percent of imports to Brazil.   Lamy also acknowledged U.S. President Obama’s efforts to streamline the economic stimulus package’s “Buy American” provision as welcome sign from America, but also raised concern about how these provisions would be enforced.

    The runner-up prize, Lamy said, would go to President Barack Obama for his $787 billion economic stimulus package that honors international trade commitments, softening a restrictive “Buy American” policy that was written into the initial package. The plan still favors U.S. steel, iron and manufactured goods for government projects funded by the package but would require Washington not to violate trade agreements when implementing the law.

    But Lamy was guarded in his endorsement of the American package.

    “We all know the devil isn’t in the details, its in the implementation,” Lamy said. “Let’s be cautious.”

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to WTO Director: Protectionists are "Shooting their own Foot"

    1. Jamey, Central Calif says:

      "Trust but verify." Ronald Reagan. You just have to have the nuts to shut-r-down if anyone gets spunky. I don't think the current administration has any. Protectionist or not, it isn't about my product against your product. If you don't play fair, then we'll look after our own interests. Damn the torpedoes. We've built up the world enough at our own expense. It is time to enforce our own interests.

    2. Bronson Stocking, CA says:

      Besides "protecting" U.S. businesses from foreign competition, Obama also provides U.S. businesses protection from customers, profits, and contract laws.

      By prolonging the recession to process his socialist policies, he's ensuring the perpetuation of unemployment, so less customers.

      By not extending the Bush Tax Cuts and imposing tax hikes of his own, there's less profits — if there are any profits.

      And my giving unprecedented authority to Judges to modify contractual lending agreements (mortgage principle), he is irrevocably damaging the enforcement of contract laws.

    3. Sahasrabudhe Anand S says:

      Respected Director Mr. Pascal Lamy, I Mr. Sahasrabudhe Anand Shamrao works with honourable George bush for recollecting the funds in Trillions Of USDollars, Pounds,Yen Swiss Franc,dinar,Rial,Yen,Mark overall 200 cpuntries currency are collected from all oversead Top 500 Banks,Claims.Last time I requested to Swiss Bank for this stimilus Package .This Mission is carried out under you and George bush's kind Supervision.Already I requested To Mr. Danielle and Warren Buffett to help in this Mission .Please send me the rough plan out and total Estimation cost for the Reconstruction Of World Trade Centre .Awaiting for your kind reply on my email address sahasrabudheanand@yahoo.com

      Thanking You,

      Your's Faithfully,

      Sahsarabudhe Anand shamrao

    4. Eileen says:

      Open invitation to a great conservative blog website where honest debates on the issues is always welcomed. Stop by for a visit and sit a spell. It is my favorite conservative site and we are generally civil and respectfully to one another opinions and enjoy civil debates on all the current issues. The web address is http://noleftturnz.wordpress.com/

    5. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      It is easy to tell others to tighten their belt while you have a full stomach.

      Buy American products? Try and find a pair of made in America athletic shoes! You can't do it. There are thousands and thousands of products out there which we purchase on a regular basis that are NOT made in America.

      Small things, not just the large NAFTA affected products. History has taught us that if one wishes to completely rule a group of people, first he must starve them, and then he feeds them as their only hope. Then he is their God and places himself and his guards behind a wall of armies, and goes on to concure others.

      The last one to do this, also told the people that they needed tax reform, clean air, reduce the amount of money that went to the few so that the many could benifit. He rebuilt the factories, rebuilt the highways, sitill the best in the world, cleaned the air, all the people prospered, all the people had their medical needs taken care of. The price? Their souls. The man? Adolf Hitler. Check your history, obviously others have, most recently.


    6. Barb -mn says:

      That's okay, they have another foot.

    7. Jamey, Central Calif says:

      We've gone to far for sure. If other countries call in the debt we're done. If something happened, and we had to provide for our selves, we would be in big trouble. I would like to know who dropped the ball on this one. Republicans/democrats alike. There should always be a set standard that we never drop below. Self sufficiency is something that the left has hammered out of Americans daily life. It needs to be brought back. It is a mental state, as well as action. We have almost all but given up manufacturing. Sad.

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