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Oh Dear, What A Pity, Brexit Means We Can’t Screw Up Trade

A committee of the House of Commons is very worried that Brexit means we’ll not be able to cock up trade. This does seem like an odd thing to worry about but then political management of trade is about cocking it up, nothing else. And it is politicians complaining about the fact that they’ll not have the power to so cock up – and that they’d better be given it pronto.

We, the rest of us, should be telling them to go boil their heads.

For I do not lie, this is exactly what this committee of fools is complaining about:

In a new report, the Commons international trade committee expressed “serious concerns” over whether the Trade Remedies Authority, which will handle trade disputes and consider how best to protect industries, will be operational in time for Brexit next March.

With ten months left, MPs on the committee are demanding “urgent assurance” from government that the agency will have enough qualified staff and capacity to handle cases.

There are “huge issues all over the place here”, Angus MacNeil, the committee’s chairman, said. “Any business in the UK protected by an EU tariff should be very nervous. You might be in a very vulnerable position next March.”

Well, yes, this is rather the point about businesses being protected, isn’t it? The protection is against any attempt that might be made to stop them screwing the consumer. We, that rest of us, rather thinking that not being screwed by business, by producers, is a pretty good idea really. Thus we don’t need to be protected against the actions and people that reuce the ability of business to so screw us.

The UK may not have the trade defences it needs in place ahead of the Brexit deadline in March next year, MPs have warned.

Members of the International Trade Committee (ITC) have called for urgent action from the Government to ensure that the Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) will be ready in time.

Post-Brexit, UK companies and producers will no longer be protected by the European Commission’s trade defence regulations.

In the past these have helped UK businesses avoid a negative impact in a wide range of areas – examples include Chinese over-production of chemicals and ceramics, resulting in the dumping of high quantities of these items on the world markets and disrupting prices,

“Disrupting” is such a lovely word, isn’t it? What is meant is “lowering.” And who do lower prices benefit? Yup, that’s us, us out here, us consumers. Who is protected against others lowering their prices? Business of course. And in a capitalist economy it’s the capitalists who own the businesses isn’t it?

Thus think through what the demand is. Government must do more to enable the capitalists to screw the people. We must have a larger, better funded and more efficient department insisting that Johnny Foreigner just isn’t allowed to come in and screw with profit margins. By the horrible tactic of producing something consumers want at a lower price.

Go boil your heads might not be a strong enough insistence here.

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6 years ago

Given that the EU’s Competition Commission explicitly protects existing businesses from new competition, the UK does not need an analog of it, and any window before it kicks is a rare opportunity for unfettered innovation. Trade does not need Remedies.

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