Is Your iPod Unpatriotic? Why America Shouldn’t “Buy American”

The Ipod used by an American has 451 parts that are made in dozens of nations, and creating the little doodads employs thousands of foreigners. And its final assembly is done in China-a country that right-wingers and left-wingers alike fear to be an economic threat to the U.S. Therefore, opponents of free trade argue that government should implement policies protecting the American industries and American people who care about their country should Buy American. Economist Boudreaux argues that Americans should buy whatever products they choose; neither guilt nor laws should push them to buy American.The thing that is most distinctively American is freedom. To insist that Americans should not be free to buy good from foreigners that’s very anti-American.

Learn more about how to make a case for free trade against patriotic protectionisms.

How Can Trade Improve Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa?

For decades, earnings from farming in many developing countries, including in sub-Saharan Africa, have been depressed by a pro-urban bias in own-country policies, as well as by governments of richer countries favouring their farmers with import barriers and subsidies. Both sets of policies reduced global economic welfare and agricultural trade, and almost certainly added to global inequality and poverty and to food insecurity in many low-income countries.

Progress has been made over the past three decades in reducing the trend levels of agricultural protection in high-income countries and of agricultural disincentives in African and other developing countries. However, there is a propensity for governments to insulate their domestic food market from fluctuations in international prices, and that has not waned. That action amplifies international food price fluctuations, yet when both food-importing and food-exporting countries so engage in insulating behaviour, it does little to advance their national food security.

Kym Anderson argues much scope remains to improve economic welfare and reduce poverty and food insecurity by removing trade distortions. He summarizes indicators of these trends and fluctuations in trade barriers before pointing to changes in both border policies and complementary domestic measures that together could improve African food security. ??