A Debate on Free Trade

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Debate on Free Trade

Foreign Policy In Focus asked Anuradha Mittal of the Oakland Institute and Gawain Kripke of Oxfam America the following questions:

* Is it possible or desirable to construct an agricultural subsidy system in the North that protects small farmers in both the North and South?

* Is there a role for protective tariffs for agriculture in the global south?

* Some argue that agriculture should not be included in tariff reduction discussions at the WTO. Is this advisable or even possible?

Read Anuradha Mittal's essay
The most forceful justification for agricultural subsidies is that they are needed to save small farmers and preserve a way of life. The current agricultural subsidy system in rich countries, however, has only contributed to the decline of the countryside both in the North and the South...

Read Gawain Kripke's essay
This year may prove critical for the intertwined puzzles of trade rules, agriculture policy, development, and hunger. As Americans, perhaps the most proximal issue for us is the Farm Bill, which will be considered by Congress this year...

Read their responses to each other's essays
While they agree on many points, here they also take issue with each other's positions.

Click here to download the debate as a PDF