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Staff Writer 19.05.2010 16:44

Free trade or fair trade? Send your letters to

"Free trade is God's diplomacy," wrote tariff reformer Richard Cobden in 1857. I being a supporter of this economic theory, I believe that free trade will do more than any other visible agent to extend civilization and morality throughout the world and help the Thai economy.

I was looking to buy a well made German car made by BMW. As I could not find the model I wanted I was speaking to the dealer just north of Pattaya, when I learned that there was a 107% tariff on imported cars to Thailand. When an imported car comes into a country there is a whole industry of parts and service that use local talent to employ local people. Won’t this put more money into the local economy than the tariff?

I believe the making trade fairer is more important than making it freer. When will Thailand get with the international free trade band Wagon?


Jim Parker

Dear Jim,

I think I understand your desire for an imported car. However you are mistaken to believe the local economy will do better with imported cars. The Thai leadership has seen a great benefit to the requirement of car manufacturing’s relocating to Thailand to assemble cars rather than shipping an assembled car to Thailand. Perhaps you should discuss with BMW the idea of Thailand and to follow the other world car manufactures like Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Nissan and Mazda and manufacturing your car in Thailand.


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