Has been in the news a lot recently and big deals have been on the table – TTIP between the US and the EU, CETA between Canada (as a cover for US corporations) and the EU and TPPA between the US, Australia, Japan and others that Trump has just dumped. It’s going to be interesting how big business reacts to this. However free trade has never existed in modern times. It was the slogan of 19th century liberals who wanted to get rid of the protectionism of the big land-owners which kept food prices high. When they had achieved this goal the aristocracy lost their grip on power and were removed, as in France, or had to accommodate the bourgeoisie into the ruling class, as in the UK. The idea that ‘free trade’ meant on equal terms was always false. It means the freedom of the powerful – whether states or corporations – to set the terms of the deal to their own advantage at whatever cost to the other parties. Now we have the USA, the most protectionist country on the planet, with a new protectionist President, offering ‘free trade’ deals with the UK and whoever else, despite calling time on those treaties listed above. Clearly the game goes on but DT wants it just with his rules. Same old, same old … And don’t forget that smuggling, piracy and black marketeering are just as much part of ‘free trade’ as so-called legitimate businesses.