O que é este blog?

Este blog trata basicamente de ideias, se possível inteligentes, para pessoas inteligentes. Ele também se ocupa de ideias aplicadas à política, em especial à política econômica. Ele constitui uma tentativa de manter um pensamento crítico e independente sobre livros, sobre questões culturais em geral, focando numa discussão bem informada sobre temas de relações internacionais e de política externa do Brasil. Para meus livros e ensaios ver o website: www.pralmeida.org.

terça-feira, 19 de agosto de 2008

917) O investimento direto estrangeiro no crescimento: um estudo sobre os EUA

Com alguma caução para as diferenças estruturais entre as duas economias, esse estudo sobre o papel do IED na economia americana pode servir para alguma inferência indireta sobre seu papel na economia brasileira, supondo-se que algumas relações econômicas em nível microeconômico permaneçam válidas independentemente das dimensões ou características macroeconômicas do país focado.

Working Paper
Policy Liberalization and FDI Growth, 1982 to 2006 [pdf]
Matthew Adler and Gary Clyde Hufbauer

Global economic expansion over the last three decades has been remarkable. While nominal world GDP has increased four times, world trade flows have grown more than six-fold, and the stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) has grown by roughly 20 times since 1980. The sources of global trade and investment growth are well known—general economic expansion, policy liberalization, and better communications and technology—but the impact of each source is unclear.

Adler and Hufbauer attempt to uncover the contribution of policy liberalization to the rising ratios of US inward and outward FDI stocks to GDP over the last three decades. Drawing on stylized facts and an unorthodox calculation method the authors estimate that roughly 30 percent of US inward FDI stock growth and 18 percent of US outward FDI stock growth between 1982 and 2006 can be attributed to policy liberalization. In total, and as a conservative measure, US inward and outward FDI stock growth between 1982 and 2006 contributed roughly $234 billion annually to the level of US real GDP in 2006. Of this annual gain, roughly $77 billion results from the expected rate of FDI stock growth (as a simple consequence of GDP growth); $48 billion is attributable to FDI stock growth from policy liberalization; and $112 billion is attributable to FDI stock growth from "everything else"—a combination of market forces and technological change.

>> Read full working paper [pdf]

>> See also Does Foreign Direct Investment Promote Development?

916) Ambicoes nucleares do Brasil: uma analise a partir dos EUA

Brazil's Nuclear Ambitions: Worrisome?
Council on Hemispheric Affairs

On Thursday, July 31, Brazilian authorities gave the final go ahead to the civilian nuclear power company, Electronuclear, to continue construction of the country's third nuclear power plant. Though the decision to revitalize the 22-year-old nuclear reactor, Angra 3, came late last year, plans were finalized in July by the government's environmental regulatory agency. Electronuclear, a subsidiary of the state-owned energy firm Electrobras, plans to begin construction in February.

Brazilian officials must constantly address the country's still inadequate supply of energy if they hope to see Brazil continue on the path to becoming a superpower. For this reason, together with several major new discoveries of oil deposits off Brazil's coastline, a confident President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva hails the developing nuclear initiative as one that could ensure an increased supply of energy to the population. However, there are grave political and economic implications of any turn to nuclear energy that he is taking, that should not be overlooked or minimized.

For Full Article Click Here

This analysis was prepared by COHA Research Associate Elizabeth Reavey.

sábado, 16 de agosto de 2008

915) Um novo conceito de busca na internet: www.cuil.com

Muitos já sabem da nova ferramenta de busca disponível na internet: www.cuil.com
Ele tem um conceito diferente de busca, com ferramentas mais direcionadas para o que interessa no conceito, ou nos termos selecionados, aparentemente de forma relacional, não por meio do volume bruto de consultas, como parece ser o sistema do Google.
Fiz um pequeno teste, colocando meu próprio nome, entre aspas, como referência básica e os resultados podem ser resumidos como segue:

Cuil: o retorno foi de apenas 3,659
Google: o retorno foi de 29.600, obviamente com muitos homônimos e muitas repetições.

O que parece distinguir o Cuil é o cuidado com a informação substantiva, em si, não a busca por terceiros. Obviamente, também neste sistema, a ferramenta direcionou para outros "PRAs", ou até a "Paulos" isolados, mas de modo geral, as referências são consistentes, como estes exemplos (alguns desconhecidos até para mim) podem permitir constatar:

1) UW Press - : Envisioning Brazil: A Guide to Brazilian...
Marshall C. Eakin, professor of history at Vanderbilt University and the executive director of the Brazilian Studies Association, is the author and editor of several books, including Tropical Capitalism: The Industrialization of Belo Horizonte and Brazil: The Once and Future Country. Paulo Roberto de Almeida is...

2) Table of contents for Envisioning Brazil
Geography Cyrus B. Dawsey III xxx Part Three Counterpoints: Brazilian Studies in Britain and France 13. The British Contribution to the Study of Brazil Leslie Bethell xxx 14. Comparative Development of the Study of Brazil in the United States and France Edward A. Riedinger xxx Part Four Bibliographic and Reference...

3) Relações Brasil-Estados Unidos : assimetrias e...
All about Relações Brasil-Estados Unidos : assimetrias e convergências by Paulo Roberto de Almeida (org. ). LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for booklovers.

4) Environment: Brazilians See Plot to Steal Amazonian...
Diplomat Paulo Roberto de Almeida, then serving at the Brazilian embassy in Washington, drew up a report about the fraud, available (in Portuguese) at www.pralmeida.org. There, the Web site www.brasil.iwarp.com is identified as the origin of the rumors. The site's slogan, "Brasil, ame-o ou deixe-o" (Brazil, love...

5) EconPapers: Políticas de Integração Regional no...
By Paulo Roberto de Almeida; Abstract: Presentation and analysis of the regional diplomacy of Luis Inácio Lula da Silva s government (2003-2006), with a. EconPapers Home About EconPapers. Working Papers Journal Articles Books and Chapters Software Components. Authors. JEL codes New Economics Papers. Advanced Search...

(e assim por diante)

Segundo artigo publicado no Financial Times, e reproduzido no Valor Econômico em 29 de julho último, o novo sistema de buscas contaria com um número de páginas indexadas três vezes superior ao do Google. O novo mecanismo classifica as buscas por seu conteúdo, não por sua popularidade, o que parece ser relevante para pesquisadores, como eu, que estão atrás de conteúdo, e no Google se deparam com zillhões de referências, nem todas pertinentes.

Curioso que o sistema vai buscar coisas aparentemente perdidas em listas de discussões, como esta participação minha numa lista de historia economica, da qual nem me lembrava mais:

HES: Re: QUERY--All pre-1936 economists were laissez faire
Paulo Roberto de Almeida pralmeida at mac.com
Fri Jan 26 14:02:30 EST 2007

* Previous message: HES: Re: QUERY--All pre-1936 economists were laissez faire
* Next message: HES: Re: QUERY--All pre-1936 economists were laissez faireadvocates?
* Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]

Paul Johnson's Modern Times also gives special emphasys to the
dirigisme of Herbert Hoover (an almost Saint Simonien "ingenieur
social") and early technocratism during the twenties. He dismisses
the so called laissez-faire of this period, pointing to early signs
of state interventionism, much before the rise of proto-forms of
keynesianism.
So, cloks have to be turned back almost ten years, before the
official start of keynesian policies in middle thirties.

Paulo Roberto de Almeida

* Previous message: HES: Re: QUERY--All pre-1936 economists were laissez faire
* Next message: HES: Re: QUERY--All pre-1936 economists were laissez faireadvocates?
* Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author ]

A conferir: www.cuil.com

terça-feira, 5 de agosto de 2008

914) O Brasil na presidencia pro-tempore do Mercosul: segundo semestre de 2008

Presidência Pro Tempore do Brasil no Mercosul
Mensagem do Ministro das Relações Exteriores, Embaixador Celso Amorim

O Brasil assumiu, no mês de julho, a Presidência Pro Tempore do Mercosul. Temos pela frente um semestre de muito trabalho para, em conjunto com nossos sócios, consolidarmos as conquistas recentes do Bloco e avançarmos nos temas mais importantes para o processo de integração.

O Mercosul permitiu aos nossos cidadãos se conhecerem melhor e se sentirem cada vez mais partes de um projeto comum de integração, que, nas palavras do Presidente Lula, “nos faz mais fortes, respeitados e independentes”. Ao facilitar os fluxos de comércio e de investimentos e a circulação de pessoas entre seus Estados Partes, o Mercosul contribuiu de maneira notável para a consolidação da democracia e da paz na região. Trata-se de um projeto complexo e ambicioso. Por isso mesmo, há, ainda, muitos desafios a enfrentar.

No campo econômico-comercial, pretendemos, durante a PPTB, continuar aperfeiçoando a União Aduaneira. Atuaremos para fortalecer a Tarifa Externa Comum e incrementar ainda mais o comércio intrazona. Daremos continuidade aos esforços de promoção da integração produtiva. Há significativo espaço para que nossas empresas estabeleçam conexões e parcerias em nível regional. Pretendemos, nesse contexto, desenvolver as normas que permitirão o pleno funcionamento, no futuro próximo, do Fundo de Apoio a Pequenas e Médias Empresas. O tratamento das assimetrias permanecerá uma prioridade de nossa atuação e permeará todas as nossas iniciativas.

As questões sociais também receberão especial atenção. Buscaremos aprimorar a coordenação nas áreas de educação, cultura, saúde, trabalho, meio ambiente, direitos humanos, para citar apenas alguns setores da maior importância para nossas sociedades. Graças ao processo de integração, as autoridades dos Estados Partes dialogam, hoje, com grande freqüência e intensidade. Essa troca de experiências reforça a aproximação entre nossas sociedades.

Seguiremos apoiando os trabalhos do Parlamento do Mercosul, importante espaço para o fortalecimento da institucionalidade democrática do Bloco.

Agiremos, igualmente, na esfera do “Mercosul Cidadão”, que tem influência direta na vida daqueles que residem e trabalham nos Estados Partes. Facilitar o trânsito entre as fronteiras e reduzir os entraves para a circulação das pessoas são ações fundamentais para que o Mercosul seja visto como uma realidade concreta e positiva por todos os habitantes da região.

Estamos confiantes que, durante a Presidência brasileira, daremos a contribuição necessária para que o Mercosul continue a ser motivo de orgulho para todos nós ao promover a solidariedade, a prosperidade, a justiça social e a democracia em todos os países da região.

http://www.mercosul.gov.br/

===========

Salamaleques diplomáticos à parte, que são inevitáveis nesse tipo de documento, referências sempre otimistas quanto ao futuro do desenolvimento econômico e social na região e a seus progressos "democráticos", que tambem percorrem todo discurso nessa área, vamos deixar de lado tudo o que é "fortalecer", "consolidar", "avançar" e
outros verbos ativos desse tipo que apenas rendem homenagem ao déjà vu, ao lugar comum e ao more of the same.
De tudo o que vejo, as duas únicas coisas que se pretende empreender, mesmo, e fazer avançar, são estas aqui:

"Pretendemos, nesse contexto, desenvolver as normas que permitirão o pleno funcionamento, no futuro próximo, do Fundo de Apoio a Pequenas e Médias Empresas. O tratamento das assimetrias permanecerá uma prioridade de nossa atuação e permeará todas as nossas iniciativas."

Ou seja, o Mercosul confirma uma vocação, reforçada na presente administração, de pretender resolver problemas econômicos não pela via do mercado, da abertura e da competição, mas pela via da atuação estatal, da distribuição governamental de recursos públicos, do dirigismo econômico. Acredito, pessoalmente, que esse tipo de atuação represente uma gota d'agua no oceano de "necessidades" e que o melhor a fazer, para os governos, seria reforçar as externalidades positivas -- infra-estrutura, comunicação, capacitação educacional, ambiente de negocios, de modo geral -- que possam permitir a atuação facilitada das empresas privadas, as únicas, finalmente, que criam oportunidades de emprego e que geram, portanto, renda e riqueza na região e fora dela. Governos apenas reciclam recursos que eles capturam na esfera privada, e ao faze-lo nem sempre agem de modo eficiente ou imparcial.

segunda-feira, 4 de agosto de 2008

913) Uma homenagem a um lutador contra o totalitarismo: Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Dois textos em homenagem a um simples escritor, mas um dos mais poderosos do século XX: primeiro Christopher Hitchens, depois o The Economist.

The Man Who Kept On Writing
Alexander Solzhenitsyn lived as if there were such a thing as human dignity.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Aug. 4, 2008

Every now and then it happens. The state or the system encounters an individual who, bafflingly, maddeningly, absurdly, cannot be broken. Should they manage to survive, such heroes have a good chance of outliving the state or the system that so grossly underestimated them. Examples are rather precious and relatively few, and they include Nelson Mandela refusing an offer to be released from jail (unless and until all other political detainees were also freed) and Alexander Solzhenitsyn having to be deported from his country of birth against his will, even though he had become—and had been before—a prisoner there.

Two words will always be indissolubly connected to the name of Alexander Isayevich: the acronym GULAG (for the initials of the Stalinist system of penitentiary camps that dotted the Soviet landscape like a pattern of hellish islands) and the terse, harsh word Zek, to describe the starved and overworked inhabitants of this archipelago of the new serfdom. In an especially vivid chapter of his anatomy of that ghastly system, Solzhenitsyn parodied Marxist-Leninist theories of self-determination to argue that the Zeks were indeed a nation unto themselves. In his electrifying first book, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, he did in a way delineate the borders and customs of an undiscovered country with a doomed and unknown citizenry. He became an anthropologist of the totalitarian in a way not understood since David Rousset's L'Univers Concentrationnaire. If you are interested in historical irony, you might care to notice that any one chapter of Ivan Denisovich, published in Novy Mir during the Khrushchev de-Stalinization, easily surpassed in its impact any number of books and tracts that had taken "Socialist Realism" as their watchword. The whole point about "realism"—real realism—is that it needs no identifying prefix. Solzhenitsyn's work demonstrates this for all time.

To have fought his way into Hitler's East Prussia as a proud Red Army soldier in the harshest war on record, to have been arrested and incarcerated for a chance indiscretion, to have served a full sentence of servitude and been released on the very day that Stalin died, and then to have developed cancer and known the whole rigor and misery of a Soviet-era isolation hospital—what could you fear after that? The bullying of Leonid Brezhnev's KGB and the hate campaigns of the hack-ridden Soviet press must have seemed like contemptible fleabites by comparison. But it seems that Solzhenitsyn did have a worry or a dread, not that he himself would be harmed but that none of his work would ever see print. Nonetheless—and this is the point to which I call your attention—he kept on writing. The Communist Party's goons could have torn it up or confiscated or burned it—as they did sometimes—but he continued putting it down on paper and keeping a bottom drawer filled for posterity. This is a kind of fortitude for which we do not have any facile name. The simplest way of phrasing it is to say that Solzhenitsyn lived "as if." Barely deigning to notice the sniggering, pick-nose bullies who followed him and harassed him, he carried on "as if" he were a free citizen, "as if" he had the right to study his own country's history, "as if" there were such a thing as human dignity.

And, once he succeeded in getting The Gulag Archipelago into print, even in pirate editions overseas, it became obvious that something terminal had happened to the edifice of Soviet power.

Of course, one cannot have everything. Nelson Mandela has been soft on Daniel arap Moi, Fidel Castro, Muammar Qaddafi, and Robert Mugabe, and soft on them even when he doesn't need them anymore as temporary allies in a difficult struggle. When Solzhenitsyn came to the United States, he was turned away from the White House, on Henry Kissinger's advice, by President Gerald Ford. But, rather than denounce this Republican collusion with Brezhnev, he emptied the vials of his wrath over Americans who liked rock music. The ayatollahlike tones of his notorious Harvard lecture (as I called them at the time) turned out not to be misleading. As time went by, he metamorphosed more and more into a classic Russian Orthodox chauvinist, whose work became more wordy and propagandistic and—shall we be polite?—idiosyncratic with every passing year.

His most recent book, Two Hundred Years Together, purported to be a candid examination of the fraught condition of Russian-Jewish relations—a theme that he had found it difficult to repress in some of his earlier work. He denied that this inquiry had anything in common with the ancient Russian-nationalist dislike of the cosmopolitan (and sometimes Bolshevik-inclined) Jew, and one must give him the benefit of any doubt here. However, when taken together with his partisanship for Slobodan Milosevic and the holy Serb cause, his exaltation of the reborn (and newly state-sponsored) Russian Orthodox Church, and his late-blooming admiration of the cold-eyed Vladimir Putin, the resulting mixture of attitudes and prejudices puts one in mind more of Dostoyevsky than of Tolstoy. Having denounced "cruel" NATO behavior in the Balkans, without ever saying one word about the behavior of Russian soldiers in Chechnya, Solzhenitsyn spent some of his final days in wasteful diatribes against those Ukrainian nationalists who were, rightly or wrongly, attempting to have their own Soviet-era horrors classified as "genocide."

Dostoyevsky even at his most chauvinistic was worth a hundred Mikhail Sholokhovs or Maxim Gorkys, and Solzhenitsyn set a new standard for the courage by which a Russian author could confront the permafrost of the Russian system. "A great writer," as he put it in The First Circle, "is, so to speak, a secret government in his country." The echo of Shelley's remark about poets being the "unacknowledged legislators of the world" may or may not be deliberate. But it serves to remind us that writers, however much they may disown the idea, are nonetheless ultimately responsible for the political influence that they do choose to exert. Therein lies the germ of tragedy.


An icon of his age
The Economist,Aug 4th 2008

The death of Alexander Solzhenitsyn gives Russia a chance to reflect on authoritarianism

PROPHETS are without honour in their own country—at least until they die. For most of his adult life in the Soviet Union, Alexander Solzhenitsyn was persecuted. In exile in the West from 1974, his gloomy philippics and increasingly turgid prose aroused more bafflement than appreciation. After he returned to Russia in 1994, he was welcomed but then ignored.

His death is a chance to make amends, although whether a Russia that is increasingly nostalgic for its totalitarian past will chose to take it is another matter. In an online poll (admittedly wildly unscientific) taken in recent weeks, the totalitarian leader Joseph Stalin is a front-runner for the title of greatest Russian. It was criticism of Stalin, expressed privately in a letter to a friend, that landed Mr Solzhenitsyn with an eight-year sentence in the camps. It counted for little that he was a twice-decorated artillery officer, on the front-line of the Red Army's triumph over Nazi Germany.

Having experienced the crimes of Stalinism at first hand, he exposed them in both fiction and factual form. "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich", published in 1962, gave Soviet citizens their first opportunity to read about the brutality, squalor, humiliation and fear of daily life in a prison camp, all told in the matter-of-fact style of a Russian folk tale. "The Gulag Archipelago" described the system, its tortures, rules and subculture, in relentless, gruesome, encyclopedic form. Modern scholars, able to research the subject with a freedom that Mr Solzhenitsyn could never have dreamed of, say it is astonishingly accurate.

His other books are more patchy. Although he detested the ravages of communist rule on Russian language and culture, the clunky techniques of Socialist Realism are all too visible in works such as "The Cancer Ward". His later works are mostly panoramic histories of Russia in the past century that most readers found impenetrable. His latest work, a lengthy series of reflections on Jewish-Russian relations, prompted charges of anti-semitism that he furiously denied.

Mr Solzhenitsyn was a loyal communist in his youth. As a young man, he dreamed of writing a history of the Russian revolution, oblivious to the Stalinist terror going on around him. As a bright, young maths student, he once said he could easily have ended up being recruited by the NKVD, the secret police, to perpetrate terror. Instead he became its most potent critic. His political awakening came from long talks in prison with Arnold Susi, an Estonian lawyer jailed for being a minister in a non-communist government. That friendship survived for many years after both men were released.

As well as the gulag, Mr Solzhenitsyn's titanic willpower triumphed over other adversaries: cancer, censorship and Soviet bureaucratic intimidation. In 1970 he won the Nobel prize for literature, but declined to accept it in person for fear that he would not be allowed to return to the Soviet Union. But by 1974, the Soviet authorities had had enough: he was bundled onto a plane to West Germany, to spend two decades abroad. Those in the West who had championed his cause were disconcerted to find that he saw the capitalist system as little better than communism. He denounced materialism and moral emptiness, and lived in increasing seclusion in a remote corner of New England.

As communism collapsed, his books, once read only in flimsy, blurred carbon copies, could all be published legally inside the Soviet Union. But he detested the man who brought that about: Boris Yeltsin, the first freely-elected leader in Russia's history, spurning his offer of a state decoration. He could not, he said accept honours from a man who had brought misery on his people.

To the consternation of some of his supporters, he did accept an award from the ex-KGB officer who became Mr Yeltsin's successor, Vladimir Putin. He even seemed to downplay Mr Putin's role in the KGB, saying that every country needed an intelligence service. Yet, although he praised the self-respect and stability that Russia had regained under Mr Putin, he remained deeply critical of its politics and the corruption and greed that capitalism had exposed and fuelled.

That message, often delivered in sententious, near messianic tones, had little appeal. A television programme consisting largely of all but unwatchable monologues lingered painfully on the airwaves and then died, unlamented. Few read his books.

But his death is a chance for Russia's rulers to say what they think about totalitarianism. Was the collapse of the Soviet Union the "geopolitical catastrophe" of the last century? Or is the real disaster the failure of an independent Russia to cast off the chains of authoritarianism and empire? If Russia's new president, Dmitry Medvedev, goes beyond simply offering condolences to the Solzhenitsyn family, his thoughts on that would be eagerly awaited.

domingo, 3 de agosto de 2008

912) Os democratas nem sempre foram protecionistas...

OPINION
Democrats Once Did Free Trade
By DOUGLAS A. IRWIN and AMITY SHLAES
The Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2008; Page A11

The failure of the Doha Round of trade negotiations seven years after its launch does not call for despair. The removal of trade barriers and the reduction of subsidies remain worthwhile objectives, and past experience has shown that difficult multilateral negotiations can be completed. But turning talks into agreements will require leadership that can endure a long, lurching process, without instant success.

Cordell Hull, America's longest serving secretary of state (1933 to 1944), was one such leader. Even today, the Tennessee Democrat should be a model for politicians of all backgrounds.

Hull believed that trade was one of the best ways to prevent a repeat of the carnage of World War I. He wrote: "Though realizing that many other factors were involved, I reasoned that, if we could get a freer flow of trade -- freer in the sense of fewer discriminations and obstructions -- so that one country would not be deadly jealous of another, and the living standards of all countries might rise, thereby eliminating the economic dissatisfaction that breeds war, we might have a reasonable chance for lasting peace."

Removing obstacles to trade was not easy. Congress kept tight control over its ability to write the tariff laws that governed imports of thousands of itemized products. The Republicans ruled the 1920s and were committed to protectionism. Britain turned against free trade and adopted discriminatory imperial preferences. Other countries kept wartime controls on trade in place.

Franklin Roosevelt named Hull secretary of state in 1933, but at first lent scant support to Hull's cause. New Dealers, believing that the government should manage trade and not free it, were suspicious of him. But Hull fought a hard battle to get the administration to propose and Congress to enact the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act of 1934.

This legislation, a forerunner to what we today call Trade Promotion Authority, authorized the executive branch to undertake trade agreements. It also got Congress out of the business of determining tariffs on an item-by-item basis that bred the infamous Hawley-Smoot tariff of 1930. After the act, Hull traveled to Latin America and negotiated tariff reductions that strengthened the credibility of America's "Good Neighbor Policy."

Hull's efforts to reduce trade barriers were not a big success in his day. Then, as now, Democrats were divided in their support for freer trade. With Europe heading toward war, the secretary of state's initiatives were too little too late.

Hull understood that trade was a long-term project whose benefits might emerge after he and Roosevelt left the stage. During World War II, he continued to work to foster multilateral cooperation by creating the United Nations as well as promoting trade. He worked himself sick, but Roosevelt so appreciated his drive that he nominated Hull to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, which he won in 1945.

Even after Hull retired, his spirit continued to animate U.S. policy. In 1947, the U.S. and 22 other nations met in Geneva, Switzerland, to finalize the text of the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade, or GATT. It did not go smoothly. The defiant Republican Congress passed legislation restricting imports of wool. Australia, a major wool exporter, threatened to walk out of the negotiations and bring the British Commonwealth with it, dooming the GATT.

In what Assistant Secretary of State William Clayton called "the greatest act of political courage that I have ever witnessed," President Harry Truman not only vetoed the bill, but snubbed Congress by authorizing a 25% reduction in the wool tariff. Many other stumbling blocks were overcome to conclude the agreement.

According to one recent study, the initial GATT agreements increased the trade of participating countries by nearly 100% relative to nonparticipants in the late 1940s. Nevertheless, the American plans to fold the GATT into a broader agreement under a new body, the International Trade Organization, failed completely by 1950.

Still, there was mounting evidence of the validity of Hull's ideas. Trade fostered postwar economic recovery, which ensured that Western Europe remained our ally. West Germany and Japan began to move from basket cases to economic miracles. We tend to take all this for granted today, but it did not happen by accident.

Those who are frustrated by the pace of the Doha trade negotiations today might take comfort in knowing that the U.S. and its trading partners did not reach a major tariff-reduction agreement until the conclusion of the Kennedy Round in 1967, 20 years after the original Geneva conference. One of those who fought for those advances was Sen. Al Gore (D., Tenn.) a friend of Hull and the father of Vice President Al Gore.

In light of this history, the collapse of the Doha Round should be viewed as a temporary setback. With persistence, the goal of liberalizing world trade can still be reached.

Mr. Irwin, an economics professor at Dartmouth, is co-author of "The Genesis of the GATT," just published by Cambridge University Press. This article is excerpted from "Cordell Hull and the Case for Optimism," a working paper published this week by the Council on Foreign Relations, where Ms. Shlaes is a senior fellow.

============

From the Council of Foreign Relations website:

Trade Liberalization: Cordell Hull and the Case for Optimism
A CGS Working Paper
Author:
Douglas A. Irwin, Robert E. Maxwell ’23 Professor of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics, Dartmouth College
Council on Foreign Relations Press
July 2008
35 pages

DOWNLOAD THE FULL TEXT OF THE PAPER HERE (178K PDF)

Overview:
The news that the Doha Round of the World Trade Organization has broken down in Geneva has made many Americans pessimistic about the future of multilateral trade agreements. Politicians on both sides view such protracted negotiations as not worth the effort. Still, multilateral trade agreements are indeed worth pursuit. Often, rounds that appear to have failed in the end do succeed—that holds for the Uruguay Round, which preceded the current one. Over the past seventy-five years trade agreements have helped the United States not only on the economic front but also as a tool in foreign policy. Binding Europe within a multilateral framework, for example, helped secure European nations as allies for the duration of the Cold War. In the multilateral discussion, not only governance but also individual people have mattered. The key to advancing the free-trade cause is political leadership of the sort demonstrated by a heroic but near-forgotten figure, the late secretary of state Cordell Hull of Tennessee.

In this Center for Geoeconomic Studies Working Paper, Douglas A. Irwin of Dartmouth makes the case for optimism. He traces Cordell Hull’s path through the decades and shows how Hull’s legacy lights the way for leaders of both political parties.

The Author:
Douglas A. Irwin is the Robert E. Maxwell professor of arts and sciences in the department of economics at Dartmouth College. He is coauthor of The Genesis of the GATT and author of Free Trade Under Fire and Against the Tide: An Intellectual History of Free Trade, and is currently working on a history of U.S. trade policy from colonial days to the present.