Tuesday, November 26, 2002

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A CHEER FOR U.S. FOREIGN ECONOMIC POLICY: I've been criticial of the way this administration has given foreign economic policies such a low priority. It seems only appropriate to point out when the White House gives it a justifiably higher profile.

This FT story suggests the administration is committed to jump-starting the Doha round of world trade negotiations. The story suggests that the proposal would mainly benefit developing countries; that leaves out how much these cuts would benefit low-income families in the United States. Click here for an excellent essay on why protectionism hurts the poor more than the rich.

Today, the Bush administration proposed an innovative method of allocating the $5 billion increase in foreign aid. According to Reuters:

"Strict conditions would be set for countries to qualify under the so-called Millennium Challenge Account program aimed at rewarding cash-strapped governments that embrace civil rights, root out corruption, open up their markets and adopt other policies favored by Washington..... To win a share of the resources, countries would be ranked based on 16 separate "performance indicators," from civil rights to spending on public health and education."

Makes sense to me; it's a pity the rest of the $10 billion in official development assistance won't be allocated in this fashion.

UPDATE: David E. Sanger's New York Times story has a lot more detail. And Brink Lindsey has a good discussion about the tariff proposal over at his blog.

posted by Dan on 11.26.02 at 12:52 PM