I’ve been fairly upset at the TV coverage of the WTO meeting in Seattle, focusing on the protestors. Someone should be out there giving the whole free trade story. I think WTO is very important, especially to poor countries; free trade is most helpful to the poorest countries. So, the very people whom the protestors claim to represent will be helped the most if trade barriers are lowered. History also shows that the poorest countries have the worst environmental records. This is how the logic works: from trade liberalization, to better growth, to a better environment.
Obviously, the real agenda of the protestors is not growth, not work, not even the environment—it’s anti-free-market capitalism. These have been far-Left demonstrations, pure and simple. And now President Clinton is caving in to it. Clinton said yesterday, and Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky said, that we are going to include the protestors’ demands in the trade negotiations. That’s just a cave to the far Left.