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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 101-102 of Jagdish Bhagwati’s 2002 book, Free Trade Today (footnotes deleted):

In short, we need to remember that if we refuse to reduce our trade barriers just because others do not reduce theirs, we lose from our trading partners’ barriers and then lose again from our own. In many ways, when Prime Minister Robert Peel repealed the Corn Laws unilaterally in 1846 to usher in free trade in Britain, he showed that he had learned this lesson, having been exasperated with the refusal of continental powers to pursue trade liberalization in the reciprocal framework implied by the then-fashionable bilateral trade treaties.

DBx: Myths abound in the popular and politically mainstream conceptions of international trade, but no myth is more prominent and more outlandish than is the myth that imports are costs and exports are benefits.

In reality, imports are benefits and exports are costs.

If this one myth alone were busted, never again to infect the thought processes of anyone older than four, popular and political discussions of trade would become far more rational and reasonable than they are today.


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