Friday, March 17, 2006

Punishing the Poor

Matt McIntosh at Catallarchy points out that the effective U.S. tariff rates on imports are significantly higher on the poorest countries. For example, Bangladesh paid about the same amount in tariffs on exports to the U.S. as France ($331 million vs. $330 million), despite only exporting $2.53 billion in goods to France's $30.023 billion. That's a 14.1% tariff on Bangladesh, where the per-capita GDP is $370, versus a 1.1% tariff on France, where the per-capita GDP is $24,170.

By abolishing tariffs, we could instantly provide significant benefits to the poorest countries, as well as to U.S. poor, by reducing the cost of goods like clothing.

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