EU officials announced that this Thursday they will unveil plans to grant trade concessions to Pakistan to help the country grow its economy following the historic floods. The US should follow suit.
Recently, Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations where he explained why open markets support democracy, stability, and the fight against terrorism in Pakistan.
Americans for Democracy & Justice in Pakistan agrees, and has encouraged the reduction of textile tariffs as a means of helping Pakistan grow its domestic economy and reduce its reliance on foreign aid.
By following the EU and adopting a package of trade concessions for Pakistan, the US would stand to benefit in two important ways.
US businesses and consumers would have access to equipment and products at a lower cost. This would provide a much needed boost not only to the Pakistani economy, but to our own struggling economy as well.
One of the greatest recruiting messages of extremists is that the democratic government cannot provide stability and economic growth necessary. Strengthening the Pakistani economy is essential to the long-term stability of Pakistan’s democracy.
With the EU moving ahead with more general waivers including not only textile exports but also industrial goods, the US should pass its own trade concessions to further Pakistan’s ability to support itself economically, and to strengthen the security of a key ally.