Why Globalization is Failing, and What to Do About It
You have been a forceful advocate for globalization, but you also believe that in many ways, it isn’t working. Please explain.
I have long argued that Canada’s international trade agreements have made us a more competitive and prosperous nation. That’s a hard fact, and I invite naysayers to show that my decade-long study of 10,000 Canadian firms shows otherwise. As a result, I am pushing hard on the Canadian government to continue its initiatives for deeper integration with our American, European and Asian partners.
But only an ideologue could ignore the hard fact that globalization is not working — or not working as well as it could. For example, it has produced bad results in a number of African countries, and even where it is working, outcomes could have been much better. It did not work, for instance, for the Chinese workers who committed suicide rather than build iphones; and it did not work for the 1,129 workers who perished in the Rana Plaza collapse.
It is no longer working as well for rich countries, either. We are now seeing a boomerang effect, where the developed countries that pushed for globalization are becoming its victims. An outpouring of new academic research — including my own — suggests that globalization is leaving the middle class behind. That doesn’t mean we should abandon globalization. It is inarguably an important driver of rising living