When I read Just Left’s article on free trade, my heart soared.
He started off so well, saying “trade is good”, that “goods, services, ideas, people and capital will – and should – flow” and most of all “It still horrifies me to hear left wingers opposing trade”.
But then he ruins it all, by saying we need a “social democratic trading system” whose aim is not to allow trade but to “provid for redistribution of wealth within the trading system, from rich countries to poor countries” and that “countries with different needs would be treated differently” and then “Developing countries would be allowed to protect their economies”.
This is just to be frank academic nonsense. The aim of trade is to increase everyone’s living standards, not to redistribute wealth. And can you imagine a trading system where China is allowed to impose what ever tariffs and blockades it wants because it is “developing”.
Trade doesn’t need a lot of rules, it just needs to be allowed to happen. We don’t trade because we get permission from our government – we trade because it is a natural thing to do and we see advantage in doing so. Look at e-bay – a monument to free trade – where 100 million people from literally every country on earth trade with each other.
Jordan condemns the current trading system as “corrupt, evil and wrong” condemning poorer societies to beoing outsiders. Bollocks. Blaming third world poverty on the WTO is inane. In fact the poorer countries are the biggest fans of the WTO process because it allows them to chip away at current trade barriers – something I totally support them in doing.
Jordan professes to support trade but what he proposes would give even Rod Donald wet dreams.