16 January 2008

Free Trade = Peace (Or Does It?)

Marjorie Florestal at the IntLawGrrls blog describes that her desire, as a young Haitian immigrant, was to become "the international Thurgood Marshall". Working at a large law firm, she discovered her "first love" -- International Trade Law -- but now doubts about the power of trade have entered her mind:
Free trade brought prosperity, abundance, peace and security to all nations—at least in principle.

The more I learned, the more I became convinced I had discovered the Theory of Everything: Free Trade = Peace + Prosperity – (Ignorance + Zenophobia). Or even more succinctly: Free Trade = Peace.

. . . .

But this idealism is put to the test when I consider the way war can unravel in a heartbeat the prosperity that trade takes generations to produce. When I reflect on the recent fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the slow-burn in the Congo and the Ivory Coast, and the continuing instability in Haiti, I wonder if I have gotten it all wrong.

This post is the first of a series; I can't wait to read the rest.

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