Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger
In the final installment of the Big Thinking lecture series at this year’s Congress, Professor Jennifer Clapp (University of Waterloo) called for an end to polarization and the beginning of compromise and collaboration in the debate over trade and food security. Clapp began her lecture by framing the issue of food security: that more than 800 million people worldwide are chronically undernourished, and that many of those people are poor agriculturalists living in countries dependent on food imports.
Those seeking solutions to this and related issues of food security generally fall into two diametrically opposed ideological camps: those who see trade as the solution, and those who see it as the problem.
The pro-trade point of view argues that comparative advantage should increase production and efficiency, improve food distribution, and that market distortions (like tariffs and...