NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Trade Essential to Rebuilding Iraq

April 25, 2003

An essential part of any plan to establish freedom in Iraq should be a commitment to a free market and the institutions that support it, including a commitment to free trade, says the Cato Institute's Daniel T. Griswold.

Iraqis must enjoy a secure right to property, a stable currency, decontrolled prices, the rule of law and contract,and the freedom to engage in business at home and through international trade, he explained.

In order for Iraq to grow faster and achieve higher incomes, the nation must become relatively open to trade. Griswold recommends the following:

  • U.N. sanctions should be lifted immediately and if any nation on the Security Council insists on keeping sanctions in place, the United States should ignore them and unilaterally let Americans trade with the people of Iraq.
  • U.S. markets should be opened to goods made by Iraqis, especially import-sensitive textiles, apparel and farm products.

Beyond stimulating growth, he says, trade with Iraq would bring humanitarian relief, cement ties between our two countries and send a positive signal that Iraq is open to foreign investment.

Also, a vibrant Iraqi economy would give hope to a new generation of Arabs to reclaim their rightful place in the world of trade, science and ideas. An educated, hopeful middle class would in turn create more fertile soil for limited and representative government.

Source: Daniel T. Griswold, "Commitment to Free Trade Critical to Recovery of Iraq," Investor's Business Daily, April 25, 2003.


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