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A reader commented that Ethos does not contain a specific negative to a free trade agreement with India. While this is true, we don’t necessarily have a specific negative brief at this time, there is plenty within Ethos that you can use to start building your negative brief against a free trade agreement.

I first suggest you turn to these four Generics:




Solvency: Corruption/India’s Business Climate is Oppressive. 506

Increased Economic Cooperation – CON.. 559

Globalization Kritik/Disadvantage. 583

Prez Authority CON.. 626

Fiat power this year only allows us to fiat US government action. We can’t fiat that the Indian government will do anything. This limits the US to a unilateral free trade agreement. India has many barriers to trade (which you can find starting on page 506 of Ethos). These barriers range from corruption in government to specific laws against foreign companies to legal issues such as a lack of property rights in India to labor issues to tax issues. Trade isn’t free trade if it is all one-sided plus if these barriers remain in place, how likely is it that the US will invest at a faster pace in India (especially under this tight economy)? Also, look at the generics in Ethos on both globalisation (free trade is part of more globalisation) and on economic cooperation with India.

Another thing to consider is plan advocacy. In other words, does the affirmative team have an expert advocating that unilateral free trade with India will work? Plan advocates are important as they often give a complete “case” for their advocacy. In other words, they will often discuss the problems in the status quo, give areas of policy that should change, and then discuss the results of that change. You then need to back up your advocate with other experts that agree or support the idea or good generics that support the overall idea (someone advocating unilateral free trade even if not with India). A case that doesn’t have this sort of advocacy is much easier to tear down as the supporting evidence is often out of context (the author might not support the actual policy change or might support different changes). So, look for plan advocacy with FTA cases. And as always, when you flow a case the most important aspect to flow are the citations. Get the citations, look up the context. If there is no plan advocate, then being very familiar with the affirmative’s sources is a wonderful way to refute a case as many times, the sources have nothing to do with the actual mandates of the plan.

That should be enough to get you started on debating negative against a free trade agreement but watch for a more specific brief in upcoming Ethos updates (the first update will hopefully be ready in December).

Research suggestions for you: research “trade barriers” and “barriers to trade” and “commerce barriers” in regards to India and you will find some good material saying how hard it is to trade in India. Additionally, you will find that trade with India is growing steadily (good inherency argument) as barriers are removed. I especially think you should look up the PSAG, which is this joint group of businesses and government reps that are helping make U.S.-India trade policy.

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