Questioning Globalization

 
From Eyes of the Heart by Jean-Bertrand Aristide:



"Your market, your way of life in not efficient," (the economists) say, But we ask "What is left when you reduce trade to numbers, when you erase all that is human?"

What happens to poor countries when they embrace free trade? In Haiti in 1986 we imported just 7000 tons of rice, the main staple food of the country. The vast majority was grown in Haiti. In the late 1980s Haiti complied with free trade policies advocated by the international lending agencies and lifted tariffs on rice imports. Cheaper rice immediately flooded in from the United States where the rice industry is subsidized. In fact the liberalization of Haiti's market coincided with the 1985 Farm Bill in the US which increased subsidies to the rice industry so that 40% of US rice growers profits came from the government by 1987.

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