upldpressArticle342photo.jpg

Under-developed countries should liberalise trade too

see
“Timesonline”




Dear Sir,




The church and charity leaders who signed the letter to The Times (Bad


Trade, 27th September) should realise that by making such definitive


statements about difficult, technical and subjective economic matters


they undermine their authority when they speak out on subjects within


their realm of expertise. We would all like the EU to pursue a policy of


unilateral free trade. However, it cannot be an “injustice” to negotiate


with other countries to take down trade barriers together. The


correspondents make two fundamental errors. The fact that two parties


are unequal is not a reason for one side keeping trade barriers –


differences between countries raise the gains from trade to all parties.


Secondly, the maintenance of trade barriers will not help poor countries


prosper. The most protectionist countries are the poorest. Trade


barriers in poor countries lead to resources being allocated to


industries where they are least productive, raise prices for consumers


and provide a vehicle for corruption. This is a recipe for stagnation


and poverty and not for development.




Yours faithfully,




Professor Philip Booth


(Editorial and Programme Director, Institute of Economic Affairs and UK


Co-ordinator of Enterprise Africa!, Westminster)




Dr. Fredrik Errxon


(Director, European Centre for International Political Economy)




The Revd Dr Mark Hart


(Rector of Plemstall & Guilden Sutton, Chester)




Dr. Andrew Lilico


(Managing Director, Europe Economics, London)




Professor Patrick Minford


(Cardiff Business School, Cardiff)




Dr. Mark Pennington


(Queen Mary College, London)




Dr. Razeen Sally


(London School of Economics)




Professor J. R. Shackleton


(Dean, Westminster Business School, London)




Alex Singleton


(President, The Globalisation Institute, Brussels)




Linda Whetstone


(Chairman, International Policy Network, London)




see also
Economic Affairs 27.2 for a series of articles on trade and enterprise solutions to poverty in Africa