Do Free Trade agreements really help poor countries?
Has there ever been a poor country that has become developed due to free trade agreements? Or does it only benefit the rich corporations?
I do not believe that free trade agreements really help poor countries. There are no concrete data for example to prove any reall positive effect of WTO in developing economies. You may find some reports claiming that WTO increased the standard of living but I believe these reports are really manipulated.
Israel has benefitted tremendously from free trade with the US. And so has Chilie. I think the DR is already seeing benefits from DR-CAFTA.
Free trade agreements are not magic, but they do help a little.
Trade agrrements allow a nation to specialize in what they are productive in. They open the way for foreign investment and eventually jobs and higher wages.
Countries like, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland, Singapore, Chile, and so on were all much poorer nations a generation ago but have all grown due to opening up to trade. In China, it is estimated that between 200 and 400 million people have moved out of poverty since they began to open up to trad ein 1979.
Think of this the other way around. We place trade sanctions on nations that we are trying to harm. Furthermore, you will often times hear people critical of foreign policy that places trade sanctions on nations, (like Iran for example) because it hurts the poor people in that nation. So if restricting trade hurts a nation,and its poor, and thats the point of a sanction, why does the inverse not help a nation?
Or look at it this way. If free trade is really damaging to peoples' standards of living, why dont we extend the notion of protectionism inbetween countries to the next logcal step. Why dont we errect trade barriers between the different states within the country? Why not make Kansas make all of its own pharmesuticals and make Massachusetts grow all of its own wheat? Why not go further? Lets...