Wednesday, December 30, 2009

All Quiet on the Banana Front

In the Times, Eduardo Porter looks back at the long running trade dispute over the EU's preferential treatment of banana imports from former colonies, which has finally come to an end. He writes:
When this started, trade was trumpeted as the single most important tool for development. Europe insisted that its special treatment of its former colonies was central to its post-imperial responsibilities. The United States and Latin American countries vowed to hold the line for free trade — over bananas at least — to make it a tool of development for all.

Today nobody talks about bananas. Stalled global trade talks (remember Doha?) barely get mentioned. There are a lot of problems out there, including the collapse of world trade in the wake of the global recession and the looming threat of protectionism. Yet there has also been a rethinking about trade’s supposed silver bullet role in economic development.
Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest has more on the case, and Paul Krugman laments, for a rather selfish reason.

No comments: