A number of people have pointed to Alan Beattie’s FT column titled “The truth behind the top five trade myths and why it matters.” You can read most of the article at the New Economist. But if you’re a regular Trade Diversion reader, you’ll find that I’ve already covered each of these myths!
Here are Beatle’s five myths and links my previous posts on the topic:
1. “Ghana is allowed to sell raw cocoa beans to the European Union, but if it exports finished chocolate it gets hit by big tariffs.” No it does not.
2. “Each European Union cow gets $2.40 a day in subsidies, more than what 1bn people each have to live on.” Not really.
3. “The World Trade Organisation is undemocratic and secretive.” Yeah, right.
4. “No economy ever got rich without using tariffs to industrialise.” Hong Kong.
5. “Cutting rich countries’ farm subsidies and tariffs will be a big boost for the world’s poorest.” Sadly, this is not true.
The last link even covers the first comment posted at New Economist, which highlights that cotton subsidies are the exception to that rule. Though I’m already familiar with the nature of these myths, it’s nice to see Beattie offer concise and accurate refutations of them in a publication of the FT‘s renown.