是自由贸易还是给强权者的赠品?

随着美国国会对美国-多米尼加-中美洲自由贸易协定(DR-CAFTA)辩论的开始,自由贸易和保护主义之间可能会展开一场大规模斗争。但不能让这一辩论掩盖了该协定背后的真相:DR-CAFTA与其说是一项自由贸易协议,不如说是特定利益集团的请求。该协议在剥削六个贫困国家的人民的同时,对美国劳工的利益也造成了伤害。

扩大贸易确实很有可能会促进民主与发展。但DR-CAFTA规定的贸易规则是以大多数人的福利为代价来为少数人谋取利益。讽刺的是,为了保护强大的特定利益集团的利益,该协定甚至限制市场竞争,从而颠覆了自由贸易的核心原则。

让我们来看看药品。对美国的医药公司来说,这一贸易协定延长了品牌药品拥有的市场专属通道的时间期限,延迟了非专利药进入市场的时间,从而限制了竞争。对中美洲大众而言,药物成本会急剧上升,造成预算紧张,医疗保健严重破坏。其结果对很多人来说,可能无异于死刑。

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