More Trade Means More Peace

If goods do not cross borders, then soldiers will.

It’s an old saying. Maybe even a cliché. But there is some truth to it. What wonderful news, then, that India and Pakistan have re-opened a trade route through the Kashmir region.

Soldiers have been crossing that border for 60 years. Replacing those soldiers with spices, apples, and other, ahem, non-fatal goods will have two positive effects. First, those goods will become cheaper and more abundant in India and Pakistan.

Second, the new trade route will help to strengthen the blossoming but still fragile peace; killing the customer is bad for business. Indians and Pakistani in and around Kashmir are developing a financial incentive to get along.

Expanding international trade is not just good economics. It is good foreign policy. Congress and our next president, whoever he is, would do well to heed that lesson.