Jul 24, 2004

Liberals For Free Trade

As an American covering the conversion from Command Economy toward Free Trade in Vietnam in the late 90s, I saw a lot of pain and heard a lot of great arguments from smart American officials: hell, sold me. That's why these last few years here, back in the US, have really gotten me down. The NYT in its July 21 editorial, "Shrimp and Mischief," managed to cobble the two together.

"... In Vietnam, this shrimp protectionism is seen as only the latest example of American hypocrisy. Washington implored Hanoi to open up its economy and sign a trade deal that would help bring its farmers into the world of global commerce. But given what's happened since then, Vietnam now assumes that America doesn't really want it to succeed. Last year, Washington slapped unwarranted tariffs on another Vietnamese export, catfish ..."


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