Tina K. Russell

September 27, 2008

Where in the world is harmin’ Santiago?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Tina Russell @ 3:52 am

Op-Ed Contributors – Foreign Policy Questions by Foreigners to the Candidates – Op-Ed – NYTimes.com
Many developing countries — mine included — have made sacrifices to carry out tough economic reforms and have sought “trade and not aid.” To succeed, we need to compete on a level playing field with more developed economies. Is the United States ready to shoulder some of the burden by advocating the elimination or tempering of protectionism and subsidies? The United Nations by itself, with its faults and many achievements, does not lead. Nation-states do. American commitment and leadership is a must for effective multilateral cooperation. Will you demonstrate a renewed commitment to multilateralism and the rule of international law? Will you negotiate actively to agree on a post-Kyoto treaty on global warming and seek to join the United Nations Human Rights Council? Lastly, what would you do to regain the trust of your allies who would like to see the United States engaging in respectful dialogue and leading the way in the fight not merely against terrorism — which must be done — but also against world hunger, poverty, inequality and disease?

— MICHELLE BACHELET, the president of Chile

I guess that’s my big problem with protectionism, from both sides of the aisle; in America’s case, it’s massive hypocrisy. There’s a liberal fantasy that poor countries can be self-sufficient if they work hard and get back to the land; they’re doing that. We need to let them play by the same rules we do.

Of course, if you read the article, the entry after it has something else very important to say of American global financial hypocrisy.



  1. Let’s get it straight: globalization had failed, the global financial system had crashed. North-South cooperation will be on a drawdown, so it would be best to opt for South-South cooperation, including financial support for development projects.

    Comment by Erle Frayne Argonza — September 27, 2008 @ 4:04 am

  2. Yeah, but those development projects will need to be able to produce a self-sufficient Chile, one that is able to sell its products at home and abroad, one that can compete with American companies. That will have to mean us doing away with lavish subsidies on our domestic companies, subsidies that Chile or any other developing country cannot possibly match.

    I hope we don’t blame the financial collapse on the concept of _trade in general_; it’s pretty clear that the current crisis was caused by predatory lenders and unscrupulous and irresponsible bankers (and the legislators who failed to regulate them).

    Comment by Tina Russell — September 27, 2008 @ 5:11 am

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