WTO against Russia: the sooner we get - the more we get

WTO against Russia: the sooner we get - the more we getThe stronger the production, the larger the market suitable for its activities. Clearly, a developed economy is in dire need of free trade. It is not for nothing that by the beginning of the 19th century Great Britain propagandized this freedom as an ideal for all mankind.

But a couple of centuries earlier, Oliver Robertovich Cromwell, when he was his Lord Defender of England, established a navigational act that allows goods to be brought into the ports of the country either on ships producing these goods or in English. And even earlier, the English spinning and textile industry developed a ban on the export of raw wool: countless Dutch manufactories, sharpened by British raw materials, were ruined, but England formed new industries.


And the French industry was created by Jean Baptiste Nikolayevich Colbert - by the most severe bans on the importation of everything that at least could theoretically be produced in his homeland. Only a century later, his successor as finance minister Anne Robert Jacques Michel-Étienovich Turgot, asking French industrialists what else they need for their prosperity, heard “laissez faire” - “let me do”, that is, remove all restrictions from us (these the words later became the symbol of the whole concept of free — without the participation of the state — economic development) Only by this time the production created by the efforts of the whole country had become competitive.

The general theory of protectionism - the creation of new industries under the protection of the state - was developed by Daniel Friedrich Johannovich List. In full accordance with this theory, industry was formed first by Prussia, and then by the whole (minus Austria) united Germany around it. Initially, this industry was frankly incapable of open competition: the inscription Made in England was invented to distinguish good-quality British products from cheating Germanic imitations. But already at the turn of the XIX – XX centuries, German products rapidly crowded the British in all markets of the world (which forced Britain to become an active participant in the First World War, and not - according to initial plans - an outside arms supplier to all interested parties; this role was assumed by the United States America, where protectionism has flourished since the victory of the north in the civil war of 1861 – 5.

In our country, the industry was also formed under the powerful protection. Outstanding organizers and systematizers Sergey Yulievich Vitte (when he was finance minister) and Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev (as scientific adviser to the minister) jointly developed a customs tariff, which has been a worldwide example of protectionism for decades.

Unfortunately, the financial difficulties caused by the unsuccessful war with Japan for Russia forced the French lenders to accept the terms - disclosing most of the domestic market in exchange for loans. This is far from the only reason for the catastrophic lag of Russian industry from European norms by the beginning of the First World War. But the reason is obvious, indisputable and very painful.

It was possible to overcome the backlog only in Soviet times. Tools used for this set. Including the monopoly of foreign trade is an extreme expression of protectionism.

Probably, if the World Trade Organization (WTO) existed in 1960-s, the USSR would have entered it almost painlessly: then we have technically complex industries worked mostly no worse (and in many areas, like space and computing, better) world level. Unfortunately, since then we have lost too much. Stagnation of the end of 1970-x, management fever of the first half of 1980-x, dictated by a complete lack of understanding of the simplest laws of economics reforms until the end of the 1990-x almost all domestic high-end technologies were destroyed, so now almost all serious production is forced to rely on foreign ideas or - the best case is for the foreign production of key components.

It is possible to recreate, let alone re-create, competitive productions — in full accordance with Liszt’s theory — only under reliable state protection. But the WTO rules practically openly prohibit the protection of everything that was not in the country at the time of entry into the organization. If we join the WTO today, we will be chained to the export of raw materials and screwdriver assembly of foreign products for centuries.

A significant part of domestic economic leaders understand this danger. Until recently, negotiations on Russia's accession to the WTO were going on in a mutual bluff mode. The West scared that he would not let us go there in order to squeeze out various early services from us (it’s not for nothing that in April of this year the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation explicitly forbade the implementation of the restrictions imposed by the WTO until the country's official adoption there). We diligently depicted the willingness to get into the WTO, so that our strategic competitors did not look for other ways to put pressure on us.

Unfortunately, a significant part of the highest Russian bureaucracy regards the WTO rather as a convenient channel of regular foreign business trips, rather than as a market tool. And the faithful libertarians - like Dvorkovich and Yurgens - truly believe: what is good for General Motors is not good for the United States of America, but even for Russia. It is clear that for them the WTO has become an end in itself, independent of the economy.

Until recently, one could still hope for external brakes. Thus, Georgia constantly put forward demands that were unacceptable for Russia, such as the presence of Georgian customs officers on the borders of Russia with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But in the last days of Georgia, it seems, they twisted their hands, so that it offers almost acceptable conditions - such as providing it with accounting data on the movement of goods across the borders of the republics, more recently at least nominally included in its composition.

Unfortunately, it is possible that even this year all the formalities related to joining the WTO will be completed. And then the next president will have to cancel not only the formal little things like constantly summer time (as everyone knows, who has ever looked at the sky, it was summer time, rather than winter time, that had to be canceled) and redrawing of time zones, but also serious international obligations laying down a powerful noose on the throat of all industries, ruined in the past millennium, and today with the incredible work of reviving.

In addition, the West does not intend to open - under the terms of the WTO - its markets, even for the few surviving Russian industries. For example, the notorious Jackson – Vanik amendment, which denies our country the most favorable favor (that is, automatically extending benefits granted to other countries to us), judging by the position of the Senate of the United States of America, will remain even after Russia fully subscribes. It is clear that such a frank desire to use our country only as a market for foreign goods and a source of cheap raw materials is a fairly clear indication of the unacceptability of the WTO for us. Alas, not everyone in our national leadership is capable of perceiving even the most obvious facts contradicting their beliefs. However, the divergence from reality is the inevitable fate of any believer.


Alas, in the WTO, as in any scam, "the entrance is the ruble, the exit is two." If - as we are now predicted - the formalities for Russia's involvement in the WTO will be completed this year, it will be very difficult to get out. And it remains only to wait for the collapse of the WTO itself under the blows of all the new waves of the current Second Great Depression.

But still, I still have hope for common sense, at least for that part of the country's leadership, whose elevation of status in the foreseeable future compels us to think about the long-term, and not just about a beautiful election report. If, for example, the government apparatus succeeds in coming up with some other clues for at least a month on 3 – 4 - we can have time to replace the WTO with structures we really need, such as the Eurasian Union.
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