The Americans have invented a new term for protectionism. It’s called “national security.” By the term “Americans” I don’t mean those nice families (in
“…Dubai Ports World would not be in charge of security at the
For so many decades, experts and investors from the West have been telling us here in the developing world that “free trade” is a positive sum game—that everybody benefits from the rising tide of commerce. We have been responding to that message by dismantling a lot of our trade and investment barriers. Now that developing countries are returning the favor, capitalism has become a threat to national security.
Unwittingly, American politicians are teaching the rest of the world how to go about protecting special or vested interests that are blocking progress in much of the developing world.
Countries are currently trying to conclude the Doha Round of trade negotiations under the World Trade Organization. Now, Fortress Europe could now cite “national security” to block exports from developing countries.
In the Philippines, oligarchs might just cite “national security” to derail reforms to remove monopolies in shipping and port operations, telecommunications, transport, banking—one of the major reasons why the Philippines could not take off and join the fast-growing economies of the Asia-Pacific Region.
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