Ivo Vegter Discusses Unilateral Trade Liberalisation with Good Governance Africa
The Good Governance Africa researchers interviewed Ivo Vegter, author of Extreme Environment, about his views on unilateral trade liberalisation.
Vegter speaks about the countries that have opened their markets to trade and the impact that this has had. He answers some difficult questions such as whether having free trade or free people is preferable for a country:
What countries have unilaterally opened their markets to trade, and what were the results?
The classic case is the unilateral repeal of Britain’s Corn Laws in 1846 by Sir Robert Peel, when efforts to extract reciprocal agreements from continental trading partners failed. Besides heralding an unprecedented rise in economic growth and material prosperity, it earned Britain world leadership in finance, insurance and shipping, which had all suffered at the hands of a law that protected only the interests of wealthy, politically- connected landowners. Moreover, Britain’s unilateral action prompted the spread of trade liberalisation throughout much of Europe.