The Political Interest: The Free-Trade Hypocrisy

The Free-Trade Hypocrisy

Few political mantras are incanted as reverentially as "free trade" -- and few are ignored as hypocritically in practice. The latest folly involves the Caribbean Basin Initiative, a program begun in 1983 to assist 28 Caribbean and Latin American nations. By most measures, the CBI has failed. Its intelligent premise -- trade, not aid -- has never been fully realized. Pro-protection interests have consistently crippled Latin attempts to sell products in the U.S. on a cost-effective basis. Now Oregon Senator Bob Packwood is leading a charge on behalf of the region's apparel and footwear industries, an effort most everyone believes will...

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