International Organizations Aiming To Make Globalization Fairer

In response to a growing backlash against globalization, the world’s leading economies are trying to expand the benefits of global economic growth more evenly. Meeting in China, finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 nations are discussing the challenges of boosting global growth and having more people see its benefits.

“The [global] recovery continues but remains weaker than desirable. Meanwhile, the benefits of growth need to be shared more broadly within countries to promote inclusiveness,” according to a draft communiqué from the G20 ministers.

“Populism is rising. We have to really deliver results, on a global level, not just in Europe,” Peter Kazimir, finance minister for Slovakia, told The Wall Street Journal.

“There was a consensus around the table that more needs to be done to share the benefits of growth and economic openness broadly within and among countries,” International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a statement after the two-day G-20 meeting, reports Bloomberg News.

The G20 nations also noted the decision by Britain to leave the European Union as a source of concern that was driving their action.

The British vote “increased global economic uncertainty,” said a joint statement by the officials, who were meeting in Chengdu in western China.

“G-20 members are ready to actively respond to the potential economic and financial impact brought by the British referendum,” said the statement. “In the future, we hope to see Britain as a close partner of the EU.”

With anti-trade public sentiment gaining ground in the US and many European nations, the United Nations also is focusing on how to improve the distribution of the benefits of globalized trade.

In a just-released framework, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has laid out development goals that will, says UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi build political consensus, and provide the necessary technical assistance that will make “globalization and trade work for billions of people in the global south.”

New polling for the Pew Center indicates that globalization, while it has suffered in public opinion polls in recent years, is generally seen as a good thing among younger generations.

Pew statistics demonstrate young people and minorities tend to believe global free trade agreements are good for the country, while older people and most whites disagree.

It is viewed least favorably among white men, fifty-two percent of whom think trade accords are a bad thing, according to this Pew study.

On July 19, the Center for the National Interest hosted a discussion of the future of free trade with Milton Ezrati, recently senior economist and market strategist at Lord, Abbett & Co. and Bruce Stokes director of global economic attitudes at the Pew Research Center. The discussions focused on public opinion research on the growing skepticism of trade agreements and the implications of Brexit on global financial markets. The program was moderated by The National Interest Editor Jacob Heilbrunn.

A summary of the event can be found at The National Interest Online.

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