Letter: Export dive

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The Independent Online
IN his article 'Exports key to steady revival' (Business, 31 July) Robert Chote discusses many complex factors affecting Britain's export performance since 1970, while apparently ignoring the single largest factor staring out from his own graph.

This shows the simple story of the British share of world exports of manufactured goods since 1970, which is that two Tory governments have contributed to large drops while a Labour government kept our market share steady.

I am all for keeping the puerile arguments of party politics out of attempts to explore the workings of the British economy, but when Robert Chote's own evidence shows a huge swing in export performance neatly aligned with the political colour of the party in government, it surely should not be entirely absent from his article.

He might consider what it is that two very different sets of Tories, operating in different market conditions, have in common and then ask why this has such a negative effect on our manufactured exports.

Paul Langston

Abingdon, Oxfordshire