Britain Must Not Go Wobbly on the Free Market

When jobs are hard to come by, communities naturally try to support local businesses. Domestic workers demand job protection, without stopping to calculate how many might work for foreign firms. Any defensive posture comes at a grave cost, as foreign employers retaliate, abruptly halting efficient trade and hiring. Unfortunately, even the nations that have benefited so much from free trade, such as the UK, are quick to resort to such protectionism because so many workers fail to understand the consequences of tariffs, subsidies, trade limits or any other form of economic patriotism. A free and integrated market is key to ending global recession, argues Emma Marcegaglia, head of an Italian employers association. “Only openness and cooperation will allow us all to make the coordinated structural changes required to prepare us for new global challenges.” The free market encourages competition and prosperity, and Marcegaglia concludes that it would be foolish for the European Union to repeat the mistake of the 1930s by setting up obstacles to foreign labor or trade. – YaleGlobal

Britain Must Not Go Wobbly on the Free Market

Emma Marcegaglia
Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Click here to read the article in Financial Times.

The writer is chairman of Confindustria, the Italian employers association.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009