This article was written by Skullduggery12, Secretray of State for International Trade.
Free trade is an important part of paving the way ahead for a post-EU future. A key fact is that world trade has grown rapidly over the last 7 decades, this rise can be attributed to driving global growth and prosperity.
There is a general consensus that there is a positive link between trade, openness and growth. As OECD analysis suggests a 10% increase in openness can be associated with a 4% increase in income per head. A real material benefit for hard working families across the United Kingdom.
There is strong evidence that liberalising tariffs on imported capital and intermediate goods, raised growth rates. As shown in the graph, the log income per worker relative to the 1975-89 trend shows a clear increase in the income per worker. Over the last 50 years, the UK has seen a significant increase in the overall value of trade but most notably, the pattern of trade has evolved over time with changing consumer tastes and needs. Free trade has enabled the lifting of approximately a billion people out of global poverty over the last 25 years. Whilst providing access to cheaper goods enabling consumers and households to benefit from generally lower prices and increased choice.
An example of how through free trade and increased openness has helped consumers and households, during the period of 1996 to 2006, import prices for textiles fell by 27% and 38% for clothing, both in real terms. Particularly in an increasingly technological age and the ever growing need for electronics import prices for consumer electronics has fallen by around 50%.
The government is pursuing open and fair free trade agreements across the world to enable new opportunities and markets where British businesses can sell their goods and services. Consequently, the Government will seek, alongside it’s parliamentary obligations and white paper arrangements, to deliver the benefits of free trade by working to lead the global debate in support of open markets, free and fair trade. Working constructively with global partners to secure agreements with other countries varying from multilateral negotiations through our position in the WTO or bilateral agreements to deliver reciprocal benefits through the process of mutual liberalisation and the decrease then eventual removal of barriers to trade.
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