UPS chairman & CEO Mike Eskew is publicly backing global free trade efforts as a way to improve the economic well-being of poorer nations and as a way to promote democratic forms of government.
"I believe in the power of free markets to raise the tide of economic liberty for everyone from the poorest of the poor to the wealthy," said Eskew in a recent speech in Los Angeles. "Maybe I'm a bleeding-heart capitalist, but we have a duty to keep commerce moving forward."
He said no development in the history of mankind has brought greater opportunity, prosperity, understanding and hope for peace in the world than democratic market trade, adding that globalization is inevitable. However, he feels the pace and scope of globalization will be shaped by business, political, educational and individual choices.
Eskew said that businesses need to get involved in the free trade debate more strongly. First, they must be clear about what globalization means and promote the individual voices of those who have much to gain from free trade. Second, businesses must help those hurt by the disruption of the old economic order.
"Fear of change will lessen once individuals see the benefits globalization can bring to their lives. Encouraging local governments around the world to promote trade policies will lead to individual liberty," he said.