Cameron has got his G8 free trade priorities wrong

t the beginning of this week David Cameron announced his intention to push for a Europe-US free trade agreement during the G8 talks, which will take place in Northern Ireland in June.

When trade was announced as one of the three pillars for the Lough Erne talks, this seemed to be a positive step, but it is vital that the G8 focus their attentions not just on freeing up trade between the EU and North America, but give priority to creating trading opportunities for the poorest countries. Cameron’s focus on trade deals that exclude developing countries is likely to cause unnecessary harm to those nations’ growth.

The G8 comprises the richest nations on earth, whose economies make up more than half the world’s output, with Europe and America together accounting for a third of global trade. Since the suspension of the Doha Round there has been little to no movement to take its development aims forward, but the G8 has the power to set the international trade and development agenda and ensure that the development aims of the Doha are still achieved even if the Round itself cannot be brought to a successful conclusion.

When talking about tax evasion, Cameron stated that, “As a group of eight major economies, together we have an opportunity to galvanise collective international action.” This attitude can and should be applied to trade.

Trade is the only sustainable route out of poverty and following the suspension of the Doha round it is imperative that the most developed countries continue to take steps to boost development of the poorest countries through trade – steps which do not require unanimous agreement by all WTO members; nor do they require reciprocity from the poorest countries. Any G8 member could open up their markets unilaterally and shame others into action.

Trade must be prioritised as part of the development agenda, not just as the means of tackling first world economic problems.

See Guardian article “David Cameron sets free trade agreement as his G8 priority”

summary

When trade was announced as one of the three pillars for the Lough Erne talks, this seemed to be a positive step, but it is vital that the G8 focus their attentions not just on freeing up trade between the EU and North America, but give priority to creating trading opportunities for the poorest countries. Cameron’s focus on trade deals that exclude developing countries is likely to cause unnecessary harm to those nations’ growth.

 

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By | 2016-03-29T11:08:08+00:00 January 4th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Cameron has got his G8 free trade priorities wrong

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