Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 12:25 | SYDNEY
Thursday 19 Jul 2018 | 12:25 | SYDNEY

The CIA and international trade


Mark Thirlwell

18 June 2010 15:06

Michael Wesley’s post on alliances and international trade reminded me that I never got around to posting a link to this fascinating paper by Daniel Berger, William Easterly, Nathan Nunn and Shanker Satyanath. It seeks to 'exploit the recent declassification of CIA documents and examine whether there is evidence of US power being used to influence countries' decisions regarding international trade.'

The conclusion:

Our analysis has provided evidence that increased political influence, arising from CIA interventions during the Cold War, was used by the US to create a larger market for its products. We show that following CIA interventions, foreign-country imports from the US increased dramatically. Further the increase was greatest in industries in which the US was the least competitive in producing, and there was no similar increase in US purchases of intervened-country exports.

Slate's Ray Fisman noted that this paper meant there was now some evidence to support one of the claims of John 'Economic Hitman' Perkins, who believed there was a massive US government conspiracy to serve American corporate interests abroad. William Easterly's slightly amused reaction to Fisman is here.