EU-UK trade should also benefit the poorest
Sir, The FT’s Editorial Comment, “An easier path for EU trade agreements” (May 17), suggests that investor-state dispute mechanisms are “more trouble than they are worth”.
One problem with such mechanisms is the trouble that they cause for the world’s poorest communities.
International trade arbitration has often been used in tension with national development objectives, preventing developing countries from implementing policies to reduce poverty and protect the environment.
As Pope Francis says in his encyclical, Laudato Si’: “Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving our world.”
Trade that works for the UK and the EU can also benefit the poorest people, provided businesses are not given tailor-made courts which enable them to override the interests and rights of such communities. Chris Bain Director, Catholic International Development Charity (CAFOD), London SE1, UK