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Trade Is Better Than Aid: Tariff Relief Assistance for Least Developed Economies

Recorded on May 16, 2006

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium The Trade-Related Assistance for Developing Economies Act of 2005 (the "TRADE Act") would provide tariff relief to fifteen of the world's poorest nations in South Asia, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Nepal, creating opportunities for increased investment and economic growth. Currently, the United States is the only major developed country not providing duty-free access to all least developed countries. During the WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong last December, this issue arose and a commitment to change U.S. policy was made by then U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman. This bi-partisan legislation also acts as an important incentive for American businesses that have invested in South Asia and would like to continue business partnerships there. Further, the TRADE Act could be an important foreign policy tool in a region where Islamic extremism and instability are serious concerns.