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#2094: Re: #2085: Trade and Haiti: Gill comments

From: Mark Gill <markgill@midwest.net>

adoption of free trade policies, at least in terms of what free trade
means today, has a number of negative consequences for Haiti and the
other islands of the Caribbean.....first, it means more imports from the
US and other countries, which undermines local producers that cannot
compete with lower cost goods....

second, any export plan generated by Haiti or another island is
vulnerable, in that it will depend on the level of demand that comes
from the US.....thus, the US market remains in control of production in
the island.....

third, US firms have been the ones that have benefited most from CBI and
i dont see any reason to assume this will change....

fourth, free trade ignores the development of an indigenous

what is often forgotten is that those who promote free trade usually
come from advanced countries, where basic infrstructure problems were
settled long ago.....

if one studies the overall issue of "free trade, free markets and 
privatizing", one will see that the Third World Countries are having to
accept this as the thrust of the advanced countries, whether they like
it or not.....they are not in a position to withstand the onslaught
since the advanced countries are the ones who fund the World Bank, the
IMF, etc.....

i mean, what can the Caribbean do, considering its smallness, its low
production, its lack of capital, etc against an economy of trillions of
dollars (the US)....

there must be a mix, where free trade is allowed in some areas, while
other internal production, especially agriculture, remains
protected.....the "informal" economy is still the backbone of
Haiti.....damage it, and what will you have?  well, free trade never
protects the small producer, the small farmer....rather, it ignores them
and they ALWAYS SUFFER....this has happened over and over.....

here is where the govt of Haiti must enter the picture....to provide
subsidies that WILL protect the small producers who are the backbone of
the "informal economy"....

in reality, of course, considering that it is difficult to withstand the
power of the World Bank/IMF, especially the poorer countries that need
credit, me thinks i am being a Don Quixote....alas!!