Few Voices Defend Globalization

In today’s world in which populism is all the rage, there are a few making the argument against throwing the baby out with the global trade bathwater.

The voice of former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos is one of a few urging lawmakers and citizens not to turn their backs on trade. Rather than throwing out the baby with the bathwater, Lagos says leaders should reform and adapt to the reality of a globalized world.

Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson also weighs in, arguing that anti-trade politicians fail to see the issue in terms that are not black and white or god and bad. Rather, he contends globalization is driven mainly by domestic factors.

The interconnections that bind countries together — globalization — are much more complex than Trump and, to be fair, many others imagine. The huge flows of money between countries rival in importance the massive flows of goods and services. The best thing we can do to improve the United States’ international competitiveness is to strengthen our domestic economy, which is the ultimate foundation on which its global dynamism rests,” he writes.

GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt said it is too early to give up on global trade, which he argued benefits the average worker through maintaining a presence in foreign markets.

“The ability to sell to the rest of the world creates wealth for the working men and women of the country,” he said, adding that open access to global trade is good for small businesses.

“We believe that having access to markets and being able to sell around the world has been an important part of growth, but we’re already pretty global,” Immelt noted.

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