(14 August 2006)
The Freedom to Trade (F2T) coalition staged a peaceful demonstration this afternoon calling for governments to remove barriers to trade throughout the world. The demonstration involved members of the F2T breaking chains and tearing down walls, representing the many barriers to trade imposed by our government, trapping billions in poverty.
Franklin Cudjoe, head of the Imani Institute in Ghana said: “One of the reasons Africa remains so poor is because our governments make it very difficult for African countries to trade between one another. If we removed tariffs and other barriers to trade in Africa, the benefits for the poor would be immense.”
Barun Mitra, director of India’s Liberty Institute said: “India stands to gain hugely from a liberalisation in trade in services. The success of our IT sector demonstrates the huge economic gains that can be had from free trade”.
Andrew Shuen of Hong Kong’s Lion Rock Institute said: “50 years ago Hong Kong was an impoverished fishing village. Today, it is Asia’s richest city. This amazing transformation has been made possible through unilateral free trade.”
Julian Morris, director of International Policy Network said: “If trade were to be liberalised throughout the world, trillions of dollars in wealth would be created and the people who would gain most would be the poor.”
About the Freedom to Trade Coalition
The F2T Coalition believes that free trade frees people: it is fundamental to eliminating poverty, promoting development and achieving political and economic freedom.
The F2T Coalition used the demonstration to call on world leaders to permit the people of the world real freedom to trade. That means removing all barriers to trade imposed by governments, including quotas, tariffs, subsidies and protectionist regulations. The coalition demanded that all nations:
- Eliminate import tariffs and quotas.
- Eliminate production and export subsidies.
- Eliminate protectionist regulations.
- Remove other bureaucratic restrictions on trade.
- Enable entrepreneurs, traders and innovators to protect and exchange their property.