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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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@IFTtweets 12 hours ago

A WTO Chair lamenting "asymmetrical nature" of Turkey's experience in the EU Customs Union. The claim that the UK… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

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@IFTtweets 12 hours ago

@WTIAdvisors @LizMay12 @SamuelMarcLowe @chip_roh .@JohnAlty1, @HuntDaren are you able to help here? Looking to conf… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

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@IFTtweets 12 hours ago

@Lorand_Bartels @LizMay12 @SamuelMarcLowe Hi @Lorand_Bartels, any chance you can recommend further reading on this?

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@IFTtweets 13 hours ago

@WTIAdvisors @LizMay12 @SamuelMarcLowe Are we certain? Seems to be disagreement on this: @chip_roh twitter.com/chip_roh/statu…

Chris Mason

@ChrisMasonBBC 16 hours ago

Resigning Labour MPs: Luciana Berger, Mike Gapes, Ann Coffey, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Chuka Umunna, Gavin Shuker

Hosuk Lee-Makiyama

@leemakiyama yesterday

UK says Huawei is manageable risk to 5G. Geographic restrictions and other measures to make risk manageable. ft.com/content/619f9d…

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