Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Tim Harford on Free Trade in the FT

If you only read one thing about trade this month, make sure it is

"What's so great about Free Trade anyway?"

by "undercover Economist" Tim Harford in the Financial Times.

For too long those have been successful in Western Societies have been content to pocket the enormous net benefits of Free Trade without doing enough to either to explain those benefits or to ensure that some of the wealth which free trade creates is used to compensate the losers.

But over the past few years the majority who benefit greatly from free trade have taken those benefits for granted, while the minority who lose out have been only too well aware of it. Populists on both right (Donald Trump, for example) and left have campaigned on real and imaginary threats from free trade - an example of an imaginary threat being that a free trade deal with the USA might threaten the NHS and lead to involuntary privatisation, which Britain could and would prevent. With such populists increasing in influence around the world, there is a danger of a trade war which would be a massive act of self-harm for every nation which takes part.

You can read Tim's article here.

No comments: