February 21, 2008

Is It Really Free Trade?

Free trade, free trade, all aboard for free trade.

The Canadian and Columbian governments are close to executing a free trade agreement:

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier concluded an official visit to Bogota Tuesday, saying a Canada-Colombia free trade pact was imminent and praising its peace efforts in a statement.

"Discussions on a free trade agreement with Colombia are ongoing and Canada remains committed to concluding the negotiations in the near future," Bernier said.

But will it really be a free trade agreement?

That would require that any individuals or groups of individuals in the two countries can voluntarily exchange goods and services without government restrictions in forms such as taxes, tariffs, prohibitions, etc.

Columbia is the world's leading cocoa cultivator. Will there be unrestricted trade in cocoa related products?

The only role that the respective governments might have to play in a truly free trade environment is to provide a dispute resolution process (judicial system) and to provide police services in cases of fraud, theft or violence that the involved parties can not resolve amongst themselves without resort to violence.

That these agreements may make some steps in this direction can be a good thing. To the extent they serve to maintain the current state enforced corporate welfare system, well..., they are not so good.

Via Poliblog.

Posted by Steve on February 21, 2008
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