Saturday 24 March 2018

Ireland to benefit from world trade deal

Aideen Sheehan

IRELAND can only benefit from a world trade deal to boost global exports, as the alternative would be to go back to a 1950s' style protectionism that didn't work for us then, the Irishman at the centre of negotiating EU trade policy has said.

Ireland stands to gain massively from the €200bn-€300bn-a-year increase in world trade that would result from hammering out a deal, said David O'Sullivan, director general of the EU Trade Commission.

Processed food, pharmaceuticals and manufactured goods are among the areas where Ireland could gain hugely from increased access to world markets, he said.

Although World Trade Organisation talks collapsed in 2008 due to concerns over surges of imports and US disappointment with the deal on offer, Mr O'Sullivan said he was optimistic that efforts to get a fresh deal agreed by next year would succeed.

Boosting world trade was the easiest way to stimulate economic recovery without putting extra demands on national exchequers, he said.

Liberalisation of trade was crucial to economic growth, he said. "The alternative frankly will impoverish us, and 20 years from now we will be worse off with bigger problems," he said.

Irish Independent

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