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The Left-wing Case for Free Trade

"The natural effect of Protection is to restrict trade, and restriction means less of everything for the working classes. This is proved by actual experience. The darkest days in our history were those of Protection" - leader of the National Agricultural Labourers’ Union, 1884

Professor David Paton, Chair in Industrial Economics at Nottingham University Business School and a long-standing Labour Party member, has written a powerful pamphlet on why progressives should support free trade.

The pamphlet addresses the major challenges of globalisation - such as job losses, threats to environmental regulations and inequality between countries - and explains to a non-expert audience why trade restrictions are not the answer to these problems. It also addresses the wider context of trade’s effect on the global economy, as well as the left’s proud history of support for free trade.

Graham Stringer, Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton, has kindly written a very personal foreword, reminding us of Manchester’s strong links with Bright, Cobden and the Anti-Corn Law League’s early campaign for free trade.

Download below. To order a hard copy please email info@ifreetrade.org.

The Left-wing Case for Free Trade

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