Question: What do privileged aristocrats, economic nationalists, agricultural special interests and environmentalist doomsayers all have in common?
Answer: they all reject international trade and voluntary exchange as the primary means of tackling the major problems facing humanity, despite the extraordinary miracles that have resulted from the freeing of trade barriers.
As the most recent of these - the push for environmentally-justified reductions on imports, the efforts to 'keep trade local', and consume only locally-grown produce - rears its ugly head, the Freedom to Trade campaign, which assembled a coalition of economists to oppose the spectre of protectionism in response to the financial crisis, is again coordinating a petition to reject the misanthropic case against free trade:
"We call upon the World’s leaders to resist calls for green protectionism. Trade enables specialisation, which results in the development of new technologies and leads to the creation of wealth. In the past two decades, trade has enabled over a billion people to escape poverty. Trade is the most powerful weapon in humanity’s armoury to fight poverty and environmental ills, including climate change. Trade restrictions are not desirable, nor are they an effective means of addressing climate change."
Click here to sign.