David Cameron hasn't been able to figure out how to fix his own country's economy, or whether he wants that country to remain in the EU. But he's certain of one thing: The way to fix the global economy is a free-trade pact between the U.S. and the EU.
"When times are tough, some want to put the barriers up, to look inwards, and to protect themselves from the world," Cameron writes in the Journal, possibly describing several prominent, senior members of his own party.
But Britain and America stand for a better way. We have a precious opportunity to transform the global economy—not by less openness and less free trade, but by more. And we must do everything possible to seize it.
Trade is not a zero-sum game where one nation's success is another's failure. Trade makes the cake bigger so everyone can benefit. Take the free trade area between Europe and the U.S. on which we hope to launch negotiations when President Obama is in Northern Ireland for the G-8 next month. This deal could add as much as £10 billion to the British economy and £63 billion ($97 billion) to U.S. GDP. But the rest of the world would benefit too, with gains that could generate €100 billion ($132 billion) world-wide.
An EU-U.S. deal is just one building block of a more dynamic world economy. If G-8 countries complete all of their current trade deals and those in the pipeline, it could boost the income of the whole world by more than $1 trillion.
And there's so much more: transparency, more transparency, etc. And lower taxes! He's Ronald Reagan with a first from Oxford.
This is a pro-business and pro-development agenda. In Britain we are cutting corporation tax to just 20%, the lowest rate in the G-7. And I am proud to be a low-tax, free-enterprise politician.
But low taxes are only sustainable if what is owed is actually paid. We simply cannot have the situation where a small business is working hard to pay taxes but unable to compete fairly with rivals playing the system to avoid tax.