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Free trade has lifted mankind to a level of wealth that was recently unimaginable. In 1990, 38 percent of human beings lived in extreme poverty; today, that figure has fallen to 8 per cent, as previously closed African and Asian economies have joined the global market.

Yet, paradoxically, free trade has never been so out of fashion. Across the world, idealistic people march against trade deals, protest G20 summits, occupy stock exchanges, sincerely believing that, in doing so, they are standing up for the poor against multinational corporations – when, in reality, they are doing the opposite.

Politicians naturally respond to public opinion. We are witnessing a trade war between the world’s largest and second-largest economies. The Uruguay Round, concluded in 1994, was the last successful comprehensive multilateral trade negotiation. Until CPTPP, the last major regional trade deals were ASEAN and NAFTA, agreed in the early 1990s.

We need to recapture the moral case for open commerce. Free trade is not simply a way to buy cheaper iPhones. It is the ultimate instrument of poverty alleviation, conflict resolution and social justice.

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Sajid Javid

@sajidjavid one month ago

"If the economy is to recover once the pandemic has passed, we must resist the call to abandon our free-enterprise,… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

Initiative for Free Trade

@IFTtweets one month ago

Concerning, but not surprising. twitter.com/moutet/status/…

Dom Walsh

@DomWalsh13 one month ago

William Hague: China policy should take two "essential pillars" into account: 1. We can't be strategically depende… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

Ed Conway

@EdConwaySky one month ago

Breaking: IMF says world facing biggest slump this year since Great Depression. - Cuts global growth forecast to -3… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

Sabina Ciofu

@SabinaCiofu one month ago

Last time I checked President Macron was French. France has a long tradition of protectionism. This is not news. twitter.com/afneil/status/…

Simon Evenett

@SimonEvenett one month ago

Here's soon good news on the trade policy front. Yesterday, I tallied up the nations cutting tariffs on imported… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

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