A lecture on world globalization and free trade was given on April 21 in the Anheuser-Busch Leadership Room in the Spellmann Campus Center. The speaker, Andres Mejia-Vergnaud, a Colombian political and economic analyst, believes that barriers to free trade lead to economic and social problems.
Mejia-Vergnaud, Director General of Fundacion DL (development through liberty), shared his views with about 100 Lindenwood University students, faculty, staff and the public. "In my view, the freedom to trade is a substantial part of human dignity, just like the freedom of speech and the freedom to profess a religious belief," Mejia-Vergnaud wrote in a paper he presented at Lindenwood.
Mejia-Vergnaud said globalization was cheered 10 years ago when it was believed it could bring freedom and prosperity. But now critics are attacking it, sometimes saying that globalization ruins local cultures. Some critics also have said globalization leads to a greater divide between the rich and the poor. Mejia-Vergnaud said that that had happened in some places but that no evidence directly linked globalization with those rich-poor divides. Some leaders fear opening their borders to trade because their industries aren't competitive yet, he said, but the only way to become competitive is to compete.
The lecture was co-hosted by the Institute for Study of Economics and the Environment and the Division of Management.
Excerpted from: Shane Anthony," Speaker at Lindenwood stresses link between globalization, freedom", Post-Dispatch, updated April 28, 2003