Monday, February 02, 2009

Can Gordon Brown Pledge To Increase Trade With China?

The Times at the end of their piece regarding Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's speech at Cambridge today they say this:

Mr Brown said that his target was to increase British exports to China from £5 billion in 2008 to £10 billion in 2010. He added: “I believe that there is much scope for trade and investment to expand between our two countries even in these most difficult of times for the global economy.”

SkyNews.com have a similar line when they say:

Earlier, Gordon Brown had described the relationship between Britain and China as "a pivotal force" in helping the country through the recession.

"I believe that there is much scope for trade and investment to expand between our two countries even in these most difficult of times for the global economy,"
Mr Brown said.

"The strength of the relationship between China and Britain will be a pivotal force in helping us through the downturn and a powerful driving force behind our future growth and prosperity.

"We know from previous downturns that a retreat to narrow, short-term protectionist policies would only serve to deepen the global recession and we must not and will not allow that to happen again."

As I understand it, the UK is not in a position to unilaterally make trade deals with a non-EU country as this is an exclusive competency of the European Commission. In fact, before his ennoblement this was the area headed up by Peter Mandelson.

I may be wrong, I will be happy to hold my hands up if I am, (though I don't think I am.) I happen to think that one of the best ways to to put the UK on a path to economic recovery is by enhancing trade with Asia. There is a lot of currency stockpiling in Asia, especially China, by selling to them goods and services that they require, their cash becomes our cash.

So why are The Times and Sky quoting Gordon Brown, instead of challenging him on this? Gordon Brown and Chinese PM Wen Jiabao are free to make as many pledges as they like because they cannot possibly act upon them and the MSM seems unwilling to scrutinise. This, while workers are striking after his inability to act upon his pledge to deliver "British Jobs for British Workers".

Perhaps, and this maybe considered somewhat cynical; but perhaps the £10bn number is not a pledge, but has already been forecasted, and Gordon Brown is simply attempting to take credit for the increase. Maybe, just maybe, Peter Mandleson was able to make that number known to the Government, and the Government is taking trying to take credit for it.

What do you think? Am I a crazy cynic, or am I about right here?

00:05 Amendment: Colours went a bit crazy, plus changed an "If" to an "In" to make more sense.


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