Neolibs

A quote from a recent Monbiot article (http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2008/09/09/protect-and-survive/)

The industrial revolution was built on protectionism: in 1699, for example, we banned the import of Irish woollens; in 1700 we banned cotton cloth from India. To protect and develop our infant industries, we imposed ferocious tariffs (trade taxes) on almost all manufactured goods.

By 1816 the US had imposed a 35% tax on most imported manufactures, which rose to 50% in 1832. Between 1864 and 1913 it was the most heavily protected nation on earth; and the fastest-growing. It wasn’t until after the Second World War, when it had already become top dog, that it dropped most of its tariffs. The same strategy was followed by Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and almost every other country that is rich today. Within the ACP nations, the great success story of the past 30 years is the country whose protectionism has been fiercest: during the 1980s and 1990s, Mauritius imposed import tariffs of up to 80%(4).

Not that I have time to look this stuff up, but it certainly challenges the neolib view of free trade as growth maximiser.

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1 Comment »

  1. tim said

    Monbiot is impressively wrong.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tariff_of_1842#Impact
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walker_Tariff#Impact
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas_tariff#History

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