Why Erin O’Toole is right

There is a useful, maybe slightly contentious article in The Guardian, headlined: “‘UK could be fastest-growing G7 economy if it gets trade deals right’ ~ PwC predicts UK will be hit in short term by Brexit, but will outperform US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan by 2050.

First, a caveat, one of my sons is a vice president of something or other at PwC in Australia so I might have a conflict by citing a PwC report, even second hand asnd one in which I doubt he was involved.

PwC sets out the UK’s prospects in its latest report into how the world economy will look in 2050,” the article says, and “Using models that analyse population trends, pwcinvestment, education and technological progress, PwC economists expect six of the seven largest economies by 2050 will be emerging markets, led by China … [and] … They see the UK economy remaining in the top 10, slipping down one spot from ninth place now to 10th in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, which adjusts for price differences between countries to provide a measure of the volume of goods and services produced by an economy … [but] … France is forecast to drop out of the top 10, to 12th place in 2050, while Germanyis forecast to fall from fifth place to ninth. Mexico is the only newcomer to the top 10 in 2050 … [and] … PwC says the UK’s performance will depend on it setting up strong trading arrangements and remaining open to “talented workers” from around the world.

That PwC report is available on the internet and it suggests, to me anyway, that the UK and Canada should both be looking to enhance their trading relationships with the “big three:” America, China and India.

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PwC shows Australia as being nearly the same, but smaller, than the UK and Canada and we can safely assume, I think that New Zealand will look about the same even though it is not included in the PwC forecast. The four economies, together, might look like a very attractive trade block with which America, China and India should want to partner.

All four economies have become generally committed free(er) traders, having learned, the hard way, that protectionism is a mug’s game.

At the risk of repeating myself: Protectionism is stupid. Now, Donald Trump is a protectionist … you may read into that what you will.

article-2254131-16ac35fa000005dc-955_634x325As I mentioned before, in a discussion about grand strategy, when the elephants do battle the smaller mammals are advised to be both careful and nimble to avoid being trampled and to exploit the opportunities that ensue. In the trade battles of the American, Chinese and Indian elephants, which I am sure will come to pass, each of the UK, New Zealand, Canada and Australia, alone, is a mouse which can do little but hide, but the four together are a bigger beast that can still avoid being trampled but can also “deal” with the giants.

Erin O’Toole’s commitment to free(er) trade between the CANZUK nations looks smarter and smarter.

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