IT IS understandable that Martin Feil (Business, 13/9) opposes free trade on the unfounded argument that it helps "large bullies".
One cannot, after all, expect commentators like Feil to argue government should leave businesses alone, as that would negate the reason for their existence.
Indeed, their very jobs would be in limbo if they were to argue for an industry policy that is based on a hands-off approach.
An admission that Australia should be left free to develop its own comparative advantage would be to negate the supposed informational advantage "experts" such as Feil possess. In reality, Feil and other industry commentators cannot predict where Australia is most efficient and productive, nor should they need to.
Feil will not tell readers of the copious amounts of public choice literature that discuss the incentives powerful lobby groups and commentators have in attracting more attention to their area of specialisation.
Most revealing is his discussion of the "virile partnership between the industry and government" in the US.
When experts advocate closer links between industry and government, consumers should beware.
[Letter to the editor published in The Age, September 27 2006]