Sertorio wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 03, 2022 3:33 am
I notice that for you the democratically expressed will of a people is "petty minded and irrelevant"... Not very reassuring...
Okinawans do not vote at US elections.
As to my "poor and backward country", I would like to point out to you our quality of life is much higher than in most developed countries, that we are one of the safest countries in the world, and that I wouldn't change Portugal for any of the countries you so admire... Yes, we have benefited from freer trade, just like every other country, but free trade is no longer defended by the US, which has imposed trade restrictions on scores of countries around the world.
Quite apart to the sanctions that the US has imposed upon a select group of rogue states (not always but still often for good reasons) the US never went as far as it might have with trade liberalisation either. Here in Australia (for instance) our farmers produce a range of food products more cost effectively than their US counterparts and if allowed could supply them to US consumers more cheaply. The point is that we (an American ally of long standing) are severely restricted by US quotas and outright bans from doing so. It reflects the strength of the farm lobby over there whose influence on Congress (in particular) has kept the US wedded to protectionism in the dimension of food production.
Having said that the US post-War policy of progressively opening up its home markets to competition from abroad at the level of manufactures had a very posative effect in lifting the world out of what would otherwise have been a long post-war economic slump and especially with the rec9overy and reconstruction of the former Axis powers, Germany, Italy and Japan.
In the case of the last: Japan over the decade 1951-60 had rebuilt itself to the point where (under a limited free-trade treaty the Australian government had the foresight to sign with the Japanese government in 1955) Japan in 1960 displaced Great Britain, traditionally our biggest overseas trading partner, as our premier export outlet. The following year Japan also superceded the UK as our biggest source of imports as well. From that point on the Australia-Japan economic partnership went from strength to strength. (That was probably just as well for us as 1961 was the year in which the US government first announced its intention to join the trading bloc on mainland Europe now called the EU: which, as everyone knew was destined to deny us access to our traditional biggest market for farm produce.)
The point is that from 1960 onward growing amounts of Australian coking coal, iron ore and other raw materials were being shipped up to japan to be transformed into the ferrous metals that went into all of those Toyota, Mazda and Nissan motor vehicles that Japan substquently sold overseas on a variety of export markets - the biggest of all being the US market. It was the willingness of the Americans to keep their home market open to external competition despite loss of sales by their home brands (general Motors, Ford & etc) that allowed it to work.
The growth of the Australia-Japan export trade in metal ores and energy in a "flow-on:" resposnse to growing Japanese export sales elsewhere represents only one of a multiplicity of benefits nations worldwide gained from the multiplier effect
ensuing from US sponsorship of the GATT - WTO regime of international trading. In our case I would guesstimate that Australia gained a lot more mileage out of our trade in minerals and energy with Japan than we would have gained had the US been more generous in opening its markets wide to our food exports by a multiple of several times. And that was only Japan: I have not yet even mentioned the likes of South Korea and China.
With the rise of China as an international trader America's GATT acheivement might now look like a fading past glory but had it not happened we would all by now be much worse off - just like before the Second World War.