Free Market Access, Not Protectionist Privilege
South American Leaders Blast U.S. Inconsistency on Free Trade
Bush's policy of protectionism and special privilege has drawn lots of criticism from those who prefer free trade.
Here are some excerpts from a recent Associated Press article on the subject.
by Monte HayesEcuador's president opened the second regional summit of South American leaders, blasting the United States and other industrial nations for preaching free trade while practicing protectionism.
"Today it is clear that globalized trade benefits some, but not others," President Gustavo Noboa said in a speech to the gathering.
Ten South American presidents gathered for the two-day meeting, with an agenda devoted to economic integration, security and democracy. The first summit in September 2000 was convened by Brazil, the region's biggest nation, to discuss an ambitious proposal to bind together South American economies with joint transport and communications networks.
The tone of the gathering in this steamy riverport on Ecuador's tropical coast reflected a growing irritation with U.S. protectionist policies.
In the past decade, many of the countries have lowered their trade barriers and carried out other free-market reforms, hoping to generate economic growth and receive greater access to U.S. and European markets. But the reforms have not always paid off.
"Latin America continues to be marked by its extreme vulnerability, today sharpened by the persistence of protectionist policies and subsidies in industrialized countries," Noboa said.
Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso also criticised what the region's leaders see as a hypocritical position on globalization by the United States and other developed nations.
"They speak of integration (of our economies) as if we are the ones who don't want it, when it is we who most want a democratic integration that tears down trade barriers -- but of all of them, not just the ones that interest the powerful," he said.
In a meeting of regional foreign ministers the day before, Ecuador's foreign minister Heinz Moeller used even stronger language. South America "should expect nothing from the developed nations," he said.
"We are fed up with up with rhetoric," Moeller said. "I have received so many slaps on the back from the United States government that it has begun to hurt. Offers are worthless. What counts is action."
Why does Bush oppose free trade and hypocritically claim to support it, both at the same time? Tell your views to The Progress Report:
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