Letter: Trade in misery

Sir: Some questions for Diane Coyle ("Hands off the World trade Organisation. It's the only hope that the poor have", 29 November).

Why is trade beneficial? Why is it good to sack British workers making soap, textiles or stainless steel products so that similar products made by cheap labour can be imported? Who is to find the money for unemployment pay?

Why is it beneficial for me to buy an onion grown perhaps hundreds of miles away rather than grow one in my own garden?

Why cannot poor people abroad work for themselves to provide their own needs of housing, clothes and food instead of working for me at starvation wages?

Why do we need American beef when there is a surplus of our own?

Can she not understand that the whole WTO business is inspired by American business, with their unquenchable desire to sell more and make even more profit?

If she approves of starvation wages to provide either cheaper goods or bigger profits for multinationals, why do we have a minimum wage and labour legislation in Europe?

Apart from a few instances of comparative advantage due to climate, the main beneficiaries of international trade are shipping and insurance companies. Diane Coyle takes no account of the colossal pollution and waste of fuel all this transport involves.


Shipston on Stour, Warkwickshire