Does trade promote peace?

In this video treatise Professor Pavel Yakovlev from Learn Liberty expounds the benefits of the ‘Capitalist Peace Theory’ arguing that free trade leads to prosperity and world peace. For this theory to flourish we could do well to heed Richard Cobden’s advice that “people should have more to do with each other and governments less”.

The tarriffs and duties that used to hamper free trade have been usurped by more sinister barriers delivered to us by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels and Whitehall. Tens of thousands of regulations emanating from Brussels have eroded our global competitiveness. In the UK we implement around 3000 such dictates a year piling the burden of red tape on business. Martin Beckford in this Telegraph article from October 2010 cites a research paper which “calculated that between 1997 and 2009 the number of EU regulations and EU-related Statutory Instruments varied from 2,296 a year to 3,497.” 

In short Professor Yakovlev is 100% right about the benefits of free trade but we ignore the ‘herd of elephants in the room’ that is red tape at our peril.

1 Comment

  • John Spiers says:

    Low tariffs are for state income and high tariffs are for state economic regulation. No state expects to collect high tariffs. Straightforward regulations are to effect policies as well, but appear to be “free trade.”

    The proper way to regulate is to make the importer responsible for any tort or force or fraud regarding what he imports. That is regulation in free trade.

    What happens now is we importers let the customers expect their products are safe due to government inspection, and since the govt cannot inspect, we can deliver shoddy goods. (I do not personally, it’s just how it works now.)

    If shoddy goods get on the market, neither the importer nor the government is blamed, the country that supplies the goods is blamed. What a wacky system.

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