Trade barriers = trade growth

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Well that's not true; but it is curious that the countries that have had the biggest growth in trade have also been the most protectionist.

Consider the countries that have enjoyed the most international trade growth in the last five years: Vietnam, China, Russia and India. These same four countries are perceived to have the greatest visible (tariffs) and invisible (red tape, intellectual property risk and so on) trade barriers, according to a 2005 survey by the World Economic Forum. India has the highest average tariff rate at 29.1%, Vietnam is at 16.8%, Russia is at 9.9% and China is at 10.4%. It is worth noting, though, that China’s average tariff rate has declined significantly since its accession to the WTO in 2001.

That of course is a key question: how much have they liberalized during these past 5 years, not just where they stand now. Via EclectEcon.

Another quote from the same article:

The bottom line? Globalisation is to economists what gravity is to physicists – an irresistible force. One can defy gravity temporarily, at high cost. Likewise, attempting to stop globalisation will come at a high cost – potentially a trip down memory lane, to the living standards of 20-30 years ago.

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