Letter to Beef Magazine:
Burt Rutherford’s comparison of 19th century trade with Canada doesn’t hold water regarding modern era trade pacts. Hudson Bay Company’s monopolizing of commerce was not thwarted by government trade deals, it was side stepped by individual entrepreneurs acting in their own self interest by taking advantage of the inefficiency of HBC’s monopoly.
Mr. Rutherford states, “… people will try to control trade for their own selfish reasons.” They will do it through so-called free trade agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) signed by politicians who are in the pockets of special interests. Free trade agreements are nothing more than a way to force the other party to do business your way, and that costs consumers.
Government trade deals don’t enable free trade, just the opposite. They manage trade.
One argument for government trade agreements is that we need them to thwart the protectionist practices of our trading partners. But their protectionism hurts their consumers just like it does here and besides, it is not our business to decide the policies of other sovereign nations.
Free trade agreements should be called what they are; government favors to special interests that make things more expensive for consumers. TPP has nothing to do with free trade. Government involvement can only inhibit free trade.