Friday Debate And News

The Economist hosted on online debate about the future of globalization featuring Simon J. Evenett, professor of International Trade and Economic Development at the University of St. Gallen and Douglas Irwin, a professor of economics at Dartmouth College.

[The exchange took place on three separate days (the rebuttal and closing remarks are included at the bottom of this post).]

The debate began with opening statements by each participant about where they see globalization in present day terms. Everett contends that globalization is in real danger, but says it should not be considered dead – yet.

“Yet the evidence is piling up that since the [economic] crisis began governments have resorted to a plethora of murky measures that tilt the playing field in domestic and foreign markets. That this protectionism took place despite the global architecture of trade rules and the spread of regional trade agreements over the past 20 years tells us that, ultimately, the battle for open markets will be not be won or lost in the salons of international conferences, but in national capitals,” he says in his opening statement.

Irwin counters that globalization remains alive and well, albeit at a present standstill in terms of greater marketplace liberalization.

“The era of “hyper-globalization”, the rapid integration of the world’s economies in the 1990s and early 2000s driven by both markets and policy, may have hit diminishing returns. The globalization process may take a breather. But does this mean that globalization is in trouble? Hardly. As long as governments do not attempt to reduce the existing level of integration or interfere with existing trade flows, a high level of globalization is here to stay.

The debate continued with each issuing rebuttal arguments, and on the final day, each concluded with closing remarks.

US Global Relations Hit A Stumbling Block

Revelations this week that the US engaged in monitoring of telephone communications of German Prime Minister Angela Merkel further strained US relations with some of its allies. The news comes on the heels of reports that the US also tracked the communications of officials from Brazil.

The result is an effort by Brazil and Germany to pursue a UN resolution promoting Internet privacy rights, Foreign Policy magazine reports.

“Brazilian and German diplomats met in New York today with a small group of Latin American and European governments to consider a draft resolution that calls for expanding privacy rights contained in the International Covenant Civil and Political Rights to the online world. The draft does not refer to a flurry of American spying revelations that have caused a political uproar around the world, particularly in Brazil and Germany. But it was clear that the revelation provided the political momentum to trigger today’s move to the United Nations,” the magazine says.

While Merkel has expressed astonishment and outrage over the reports of US spying, The London Telegraph’s Nigel West contends she must be incredibly naïve because eavesdropping on allies is as a practice as old as the world.

“The unpalatable truth is that eavesdropping is as old as any occupation. The term sub rosa comes from the flower placed over the door of the Roman senate to indicate to outsiders that the members were in secret session. Espionage became a growth industry in the Elizabethan era when Sir Francis Walsingham was credited with obtaining the evidence, by clandestine means, that condemned Mary Queen of Scots to her execution,” he writes.






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