Global free-trade: inconvenient facts

Arvind Panagariya has an interesting article in Foreign Policy magazine. Here’s the gist

Why have disagreements between rich and poor nations stalled the global trading system? Because vapid debates over “fair trade” obscure some inconvenient facts: First, notwithstanding their demands for equity, poor countries are more protectionist than advanced economies. Second, if rich nations cut their self-defeating agricultural subsidies, their own publics would benefit, but consumers in many poor countries would not. Finally, despite criticisms to the contrary, the WTO can help promote economic development in low-income countries—but only if rich nations let the global body do its job.[Foreign Policy]