Post Makes Things Up In Pushing "Free Trade" Deals, Again

The Washington Post ran another appeal for congressional passage of trade agreements negotiated with South Korea and Colombia. It refers to these deals as "free trade" agreements even though an important part of both deals involves increasing protectionist barriers in the form of patent and copyright protection. This increased protection will raise costs and lead to increased economic distortions.

The Post has a long history of making things up to promote trade agreements. For example, a 2007 editorial promoting NAFTA told readers that Mexico's GDP had quadrupled from 1988 to 2007. The actual increase over this period was 83 percent. The Post never printed a correction of this grossly exaggerated growth figure. (NAFTA took effect in 1994, so it not clear why the paper chose 1988 as the beginning year to assess NAFTA's impact.)

--Dean Baker

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