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.





Raoul Ruparel

@RaoulRuparel 22 hours ago

As I've said before, I think this has been clear for some time. This has been debated a lot, through the lens of th… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

Peter Foster

@pmdfoster 23 hours ago

US “impatient” to crack on. All U.K. chapter heading chiefs are appointed now, and “matches” with US counterparts… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

BBC News (UK)

@BBCNews yesterday

Brexit: 'No alignment' with EU on regulation, Javid tells business bbc.in/30vD94g

Peterson Institute

@PIIE yesterday

Negotiations with China should have focused not on purchasing commitments but instead on lowering it’s tariff and n… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

Liz Truss

@trussliz yesterday

A real treat to tour the fabulous 🍬@WalkersToffee🍬 factory with Jack Brereton in Stoke: 👉 Walker's send 1.3 millio… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

Initiative for Free Trade

@IFTtweets yesterday

HMG is set on an FTA relationship with the EU (outside the "single market rule book and institutions")... ...in th… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…