THE air is alive with talk of renewed protectionism and trade barriers and all of the limiting, opportunity sapping realities that back-to-the-future regression might bring.
We have grown so used to a relatively open trading world that the reimposition of old-style tariffs would seem a terrible blow to the ideas of liberalism so appreciated today.
For some months now there has been a growing air of disappointment that American aviation authorities are prevaricating over the permissions needed to allow Norwegian Airlines open a route between Cork and Boston and New York. This route would be priceless in terms of promoting development — and jobs — in the region.
However, the US authorities yesterday ruled against one elelment of an application by the airline to fly between the US and the UK. This may not augur well for the Cork proposals, proposals which have been opposed by trade unionds on both sides of the Atlantic. Refusing permission for the route would hardly celebrate the long and deep ties between Ireland and the US. Any such a decision would have to be explained fully.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved