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#2032: Free trade and Haiti: Poincy comments
From: Jean Poincy <email@example.com>
In the economic state that Ayiti is today, it is quite correct that
free trade is a dangerous road to embark on; but what can Ayiti do when
its participation in free trading is imposed as a string attached. Maybe
Ayiti can do something when it stops begging and starts producing.
Free trade in itself is a blessing. It is good for only one reason and
ideally does not make anyone a loser. When countries enter in trade,
they are seeking for utilities to be found in products they will
exchange. The advantage and disadvantage becomes relative. A product
that is exchanged does not have much utility for the party that is
giving it up. However, it has a much greater utility for the party that
is taking it. It goes either way for the parties involved. Accordingly
there is no such thing as a loser when one enters free trade.
If the utility sought for is found by all parties there is no loss to
talk about. The loss is there when there is no utility to be found. The
difference in quantities exchanged is not to be considered as a loss or
gain if the utilities of all parties involved are satisfied.
We can talk of real loss when and only when a party involved in
trade/free trade does not produce enough quality products, as its
products are far to be competitive. This is where I agree and disagree
with Gill. Yes, it is sound to build Ayiti's agriculture first before
engaging in free trade.
However, making Ayiti's agriculture strong, its cash crop industry for
that matter, will never save it from disastrous consequences. I can
point out three reasons behind this: 1) prices of these products are
very volatile on the international market and are not set by the
producer country 2) the perishable nature of these products 3) the
fierce competition from both rich countries that are agricultural rich
countries, and other poor countries in the same pool like Ayiti that
have mainly cash crop economy.
Although the suggestions to strengthen the agricultural system are
sound, they can't immunize Ayiti from the world competition on the
commodities market. If they are intended to reshape the system to
develop the local market, I have no argument. Only, by strengthening the
agricultural industry to respond to the local demand that Ayiti can
launch itself to economic development.
The international market should not be envisioned at all anytime soon
before Ayiti begins to create its manufacturing industry (Please I am
not talking about assembly industries). This step can be next after the
agricultural development or be taken simultaneously with the development
All that is cash crop industry in Ayiti is long due to be dismantled as
they have been killing the economy.
Ayiti has lived, lives and will live