Sure, it\’s nice to have more trade, nice to have more investment here (which of course raises the productivity and thus wages here).
Tens of thousands of jobs could be created in Britain by Chinese companies, Gordon Brown said, as he hailed an historic deal which he hopes will increase trade between the two countries by £10 billion over the next two years.
£ 5 billion a year, eh? 0.003% of the economy? Even with our rather anaemic trend growth rate of 2.5% or so, that\’s simply noise, not something we could actually identify. And we could probably get that sort of boost without flying hundreds to China on the taxpayers\’ penny: simply abolish a hundred or two restrictive regulations instead.
Another way of looking at it. If boosting trade is indeed so important, then we should be looking at ways to do it in the most efficient manner. Patrick Minford has pointed out that leaving the EU and having free trade would boost the economy by 3%.
So, again, if boosting trade is such an important point, we could get 100 times the bang for our buck by leaving Brussels, instead of going to China.