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CPS report author Rishi Sunak MP writes for Daily Telegraph on free ports

    Rishi Sunak MP, author of CPS report "The Free Ports Opportunity", writes on his findings for the Daily Telegraph, Monday 14 November 2016. 

    To read the full article, visit the Daily Telegraph website

    When it comes to seeking advice about Britain's economy after Brexit, it’s probably fair to say that Greece wouldn’t be most people’s first call.

    And yet the Greek island of Delos holds a valuable lesson for the future of British industry. Over 2,000 years ago, Delos's rulers declared it a Free Port. This new status exempted the island's trade from customs duties, attracting merchants from around the world.

    Ancient empires have since crumbled, but the concept of Free Ports has lived on. They are a popular tool for governments across the world, helping to boost trade and manufacturing in industrial areas as markets become more globalised.

    Indeed, while Mr Trump may insist that free trade has brought nothing but gloom to American manufacturing, the US's pioneering of Free Ports tells a different story.

    Ports like Boston and Seattle are designated as being outside American customs territory for legal purposes. That means businesses like Nissan in Tennessee can import components through them, manufacture on US soil and then re-export cars without anything passing through US customs and incurring tariffs. Meanwhile, goods manufactured for the home market benefit from less customs red-tape and flexibility on import tariffs.

    Far from eroding domestic employment, keeping costs down in this way has allowed the US to retain and attract manufacturing jobs in a way that would otherwise have been impossible; crucial at a time when firms are being lured overseas by the promise of cheap labour.

    To read the full article, visit the Daily Telegraph website

    Date added: Tuesday 15th November 2016