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Thread: A time for trade barriers?

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    A time for trade barriers?

    Is the current state of the global economy such that free trade is a luxury we can't afford at the moment?
    Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan warned on Tuesday that the so-called currency wars could lead to what he referred to as "trade wars" if they are allowed to continue.

    Gordhan was speaking at the National Consumer Goods Council of South Africa's annual conference.

    "The danger that we face as the world is that in an effort to keep our own countries going, where each country tries to become competitive on the basis of the so-called competitive currencies, that will result in a currency war. But this could result in a trade war where countries will put up barriers," Gordhan said.
    full story from M&G here
    Shortage of jobs. Global competiveness being taken out of our hands.

    Maybe it's the time to have some protectionism against imports to encourage more home grown industry?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member desA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    Shortage of jobs. Global competiveness being taken out of our hands.

    Maybe it's the time to have some protectionism against imports to encourage more home grown industry?
    The last thing SA needs is another round of protectionist ideologies. This is precisely what made SA uncompetitive in the past. SA industry needs to bootstrap & get a healthy dose of global reality. Competition should lead to innovation & better ways of making mousetraps.

    While the 'we demands' & 'we steal' groups continue to rule the roost, the place is well & truly going to be on the back-foot.

    Vote for the DA & get a female president with testicular fortitude. Then something positive will get done.
    In search of South African Technology Nuggets(R), for sale & trading in South East Asia.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by desA View Post
    SA industry needs to bootstrap & get a healthy dose of global reality. Competition should lead to innovation & better ways of making mousetraps.
    Erm... yes and no.

    Yes, we need to get more competitive.
    Yes, we need to get a healthy dose of reality (particularly on labour issues )

    No - that isn't going to be enough to do the job just at the moment.

    The big economies have been cheating the free trade principle for years, perhaps decades.
    Yes, they have reduced tariffs to facilitate free trade, and then upped local subsidies instead to give their locals a competitive advantage.

    Now we're seeing a deliberate race to the bottom on exchange rates.

    Realistically we're not in a position to just print money ala USA, we're not in a position to regulate exchange rates ala China, we're not in a position to subsidise ala Europe and we can't slash our labour costs like... well, most other countries really.

    How else are you going to bring some balance to the equation so that at least when it comes to local markets, free trade doesn't mean you're trading at a distinct handicap in your own back yard?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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