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Trade deals ‘must be stopped’

No more free trade agreements should be negotiated until the negative effects of such deals have been properly accounted for, an academic has said.

Free trade has enabled the “phenomenal material prosperity” Europe has achieved in the past 70 years and has pulled hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, said Paul De Grauwe, a researcher at the EU affairs think tank CEPS in Brussels, in a paper published on the CEPS website on 4 November.

However, the negative effects of free trade mean that a moratorium on new agreements should now be announced, he went on. This should remain in place for as long as free trade agreements come with environmental costs and uncompensated economic losses for some people, he said.

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