3/09/2005

Free Trade in El Alto

In El Alto Bolivia many protestors are lining the streets and demonstrating why they do not want free trade opened up in their country. The article talks a little bit about how poor this town is and how in trading with the US, even in small amounts, has benefited them greatly. However there are still a few people who believe that opening up to free trade will chip away at Bolivia’s control of its natural gas and mineral reserves. Others say that free trade will simply lead to more instability in their country. There are also those people who are seeing the benefits of free trade, such as, many small businesses opening up which has also created thousands of new job openings.

By reading this article and knowing a little about free trade, it seems to me that the benefits definitely outweigh the costs, so why are these people protesting against it? Is it that they are afraid of change or do they really think it will hurt their country?

4 comments:

BOB said...

Free trade is the best. With the large Bolivian drug cartel, one would think they would understand the concept of free trade. They should understand that it is very desirable.

Rex said...

Free trade will benefit all that are actively involved. It will increase the standard of living in Bolivia as-well-as in the U.S.

The only problem that I foresee is the U.S. being such a super power, could mussel their way in and take more than their fair share of the countries resources. I don’t think this would be the case, in fact, I think it would be the opposite. The U.S. would shower them with products to secure our place in getting what they want.

sandy said...

I think people are protesting as a result of poor education. Hopefully education will be something that improves as an indirect result of free trade.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Rex's comment for a spelling error.

I can't say much about the motivation here, because the big driving force against free trade in Bolivia is the coca growers. I think it may pay them to be adversarial to conventional authorities and positions.