A number of bloggers have linked to this NYT op-ed by Tim Harford. It’s good:
Imagine a dream scenario in which the trade ministers emerge from their negotiations this weekend holding hands and proclaiming an end to all agricultural protectionism. What then?
For, say, a banana picker in the Central African Republic, not a lot. The trade barriers at the borders of the rich world may have disappeared, but if our picker wants to sell his bananas abroad he first has to get them onto a ship bound for America or Europe. That takes 116 days, and an incredible 38 signatures – each one an opportunity for some official to collect a bribe. Something is rotten here, and not just the bananas.
Read the whole thing,