General Article Globalisation is in crisis. Here’s how we can make it work for all

Topic Selected: Globalisation Book Volume: 416

For the open global economy to survive, losers from technological change and trade must be compensated.

By Bernice Lee

Just as climate change worsens existing vulnerabilities such as food poverty and water shortages, trade amplifies weaknesses in the social fabric. In regions where people have fallen behind economically due to political neglect and technological change, it is jobs lost in the face of import competition that make the headlines. The appeal of Donald Trump and Brexit had much to do with deep grievances felt by those attributing their social problems to the negative impacts of openness and competition from shores afar.

Yet the costs of doing away with globalisation and our open-trading system could far exceed any benefits. This is why, in 2021, the World Trade Organization (WTO) will begin its metamorphosis into an organisation that puts social issues at its heart.

Economics 101 posits that trade creates winners and losers, but with all countries gaining overall. The ec...

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