Flashback Tuesday: “There’s No Such Thing as Free Trade”

It’s 1987, free trade is on everyone’s lips, and Mel Watkins is less than pleased. In this instalment of flashback Tuesday, we hit the books as Watkins shows us that “There’s No Such Thing as Free Trade.” Digging deep into the archives at the London School of Economics, Watkins demonstrates the similarities between the rhetoric around free trade in the Americas and that deployed by British conservatives to justify that country’s admittance to the European Economic Community in the early seventies. He shows how Britain’s experiment with free trade has had devastating impact on its economy, and argues that that process is likely to be replicated here in Canada. All in all, Watkins offers a pretty depressing diagnosis, made all the more so by its accuracy. Damn hindsight!

Mel Watkins, "There's No Such Thing as Free Trade," This Magazine, 1987