Trade and the poor

Have a look at The Filter on Trade, and at Jim's response.

Jim says:

My bottom line is that I’ll support just about anything that tilts the system in favour of the poor. In so far as selective trade protection does that, I’m in favour of it. In so far as it doesn’t, I’m not.

I agree with Jim's objective, but  I take a more sceptical view than him that selective trade protection is ever likely to benefit of the poor.

As I said in thecomments in his post:

…when I said “every country” should liberalize unilaterally, I had in mind the richer countries. I think it is generally also true of poor countries, but I am not in the business of lecturing them about what they do differently when there is so much that we in the industrialized world can and should do differently. When we have our own house in order we can then think about telling others what to do …

Take a look at Don Beaudroux at Cafe Hayek explaining why the logic of protectionism is wrong:

a machine were discovered that, with only water combined with dried leaves or dirt or animal manure, could at the mere flip of a switch produce almost unlimited quantities of high-quality automobiles, household furniture, life-saving pharmaceuticals, personal computers, cell phones, clothing, and chia pets, would humankind suffer from this discovery?  Would people generally be made worse off by putting this machine to work?

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