Thursday, September 06, 2007

Santa Brings Limited Trade

The Epoch Times mistakenly noted that New Zealand and China settle on a free trade agreement by Christmas. If it takes that long to settle negotiations, it's not free trade. Free trade is the absence of legal barriers to exchange between countries. If it was truly a free trade agreement, it would take less than an hour to write and be a few paragraphs long. Limited trade would be a more accurate term.

This is not mere semantics. When "free trade" fails to live up to expectations, protectionists often call for more barriers to "fix the market" and "level the playing field." Little do people know, fewer barriers would make a real and positive effect. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

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