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The Golden Mean of Export Promotion

WASHINGTON – Economists sometimes describe a country as having a “Goldilocks” economy, because it has achieved moderate, sustainable growth rates that are “neither too hot nor too cold, but just right.” They might also seek Goldilocks’s views on export-promotion policy.

Export promotion might appear to be a virtuous exercise, regardless of whom it supports. Some government agencies, such as the United States’ Small Business Administration and National Export Initiative, target small firms that are most in need of help. Others, as in Brazil or South Korea, select large companies that are best placed to make profits.