Trade is a difficult idea for those who are interested in studying geopolitics. Over the lifetime of MFN I’ve come to appreciate that Sam is a pragmatist par excellence, a true solution provider. Essential for a trade operative. However, when one looks at the geopolitics of US autarky historically in relation to the rest of the world one quickly bumps up against the reasons for the US position re the GDP export/import realities of much of the rest of the world. Perry Anderson, Chossudovsky, Engdahl, Diana Johnstone, Blum, all from differing perspectives show us why the world is where it is today.
China, Japan, S.Korea, Malaysia etc. all played the WTO game and grew their economies dramatically. According to these countries no trade barriers is a good thing if you use that advantage to your advantage.
The UK seems to have an economics establishment that is internationalist and ideological. It does not think in terms of "how can I help my neighbours here" but instead floats somewhere over the Atlantic with one foot in the EU and the other in the USA.
The EU and our recent trade agreements have been an unmitigated disaster for the UK. See https://therenwhere.substack.com/p/the-economics-of-brexit
From this it looks like Britain's best trade partner in terms of complementarity could be Russia rather than the US or EU. Markets and materials including energy and foodstuffs. Britain's self sufficiency problems solved at a stroke.
Could be the right moment to look at this because US-EU sanctions are sparking an import substitution boom in Russia, supported by cheap credit for business investment. Growing trade surplus reducing Russia's export orientation, increasing industrial employment, incomes, profits and taxes paid. Putin can announce increased investment in public services and benefits like a social democrat!
This is so much like what many sought from Brexit the greatest benefit of a Russia trade deal at the moment could be that UK gets sanctioned too. Bound to attract interest so could be time to run some modelling on UK + Russia semi autarchic growth. ( Any political difficulties can always be finessed by saying we're building bridges towards peace and reconciliation.,)
Interesting the Gulf states are not in the authoritarian block. They are hardly paragons of democracy or personal freedom.