Policy makers must stand firm against opponents of free trade

  • 2 August 1999

Unless policymakers, including the WTO, hold their ground in favour of free trade, the global trading system will be captured by "third way" forces that will regulate the life out of the world economy.

The warning in the “Personal View” column of the Financial Times comes from Jack Kemp, a fellow of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a former member of the US House of Representatives.

Instancing the shrimp-turtle dispute between the US and Thailand over harvesting practices at sea, Kemp argues that trade should not be allowed to become just another powerful regulatory device rather than the engine of worldwide growth.

The writer discerns an international movement, which he says is hard at work to concentrate power over economic decision-making in a “global elite” that is unaccountable to the popular will of any nation.

“This “third way” movement is trying to create a centralised New Economic Order while hiding behind the fade of pro-labour and pro-environment rhetoric. We cannot let them succeed,” Mr Kemp says.