Free Trade is Code for Freedom to Exploit-
Socialist Labour Party-
We have been required to listen on mainstream media, very recently, to the ultra right-wing Tory minister Liam Fox espousing the virtue of ‘free trade’ and its original guru Adam Smith.
This has been, largely, in connection with the desire of the ‘right’ in politics to retain the free movement of Labour and capital in our trading relations, especially as regards the European Union.
According to Dr. Fox, free trade has benefitted the populations of the World by greater emancipation and the raising of living standards of millions.
All that can be said in relation to this is that since Adam Smith’s analysis was based in the C18th, then it is taking an extremely long time (centuries in fact) for the populations of many African, Asian and South American countries to see the so-called benefits of free trade to be working through.
In fact, it is not free trade but Marxist planning and socialism that has had by far the greatest impact upon raising the living standards of the masses.
The obvious examples are the huge advances made by China and the USSR and the benefits bestowed in places like Cuba, Equador, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia etc. by socialist economic thinking.
In the current era, the expression ‘free trade’ often means the freedom to exploit by capitalists and their political stooges.
We, therefore, have the price advantages of exploited child slave labour built in to many imports from underdeveloped countries.
Any responsible government would ban such imports in order to eradicate this horrible exploitation.
There is also the question of some countries dumping their surplus production on other countries at ridiculously low prices. Again, any responsible government would impose economic sanctions, e.g. extra tariffs, in order to protect its own industries from this ‘dumping’.
This protection, sadly, was missing from the British coal industry over the decades when it was fighting competition from subsidised coal imports from abroad.
The British steel industry is now experiencing similar problems.
Free movement of labour has been largely rejected by the British working class in the recent Brexit referendum.
Free movement of capital needs also to be rejected in order to prevent industries from moving their production away from our shores, almost without hesitation or consultation.
Free trade theory is no way to run a successful economy!
Adam Smith had a theoretical contribution to make – back in the C18th
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