I’m torn between unilateral free trade, which cuts prices for consumers, and free trade deals that get other countries to cut their tariffs in exchange for us doing the same.
I am not at all comfortable with global or continental institutions imposing ‘consensual’ deals. The myth of a European Community or International Community is something worthy of a google-eyed furry-hatted 60s fellow traveler.
If there are to be free trade deals, they must be organized outside of such institutional constraints, wherever it is humanly possible. National sovereignty is severely undervalued nowadays. The Westphalian Consensus is one of the cornerstones of liberal civilization; the fact that it is often viciously slandered as an ‘enemy of progress’ is extraordinarily revealing…
As a serious freelancer, I’ve often thought about starting a Medium journal called ‘New Westphalia.’ A critical appreciation of borders and boundaries of all kinds; national and otherwise.
I don’t want to see Fortress Britain or Fortress Europe, but I don’t believe in Open Borders either. There has to be a middle ground somewhere.