Trump’s win a vic­tory against Glob­al­iza­tion, say ex­perts

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Af­ter Bri­tain’s shock vote to quit the EU, Don­ald Trump’s vic­tory is a new pow­er­ful sign of a pop­u­lar back­lash against the drive for glob­al­iza­tion and more free trade.

The mav­er­ick Repub­li­can ty­coon pro­pelled him­self into the pres­i­dency of the world’s largest econ­omy with an anti-free trade mes­sage to undo the harm such pacts had caused Amer­i­can work­ers.

It res­onated with many US voters who may not have ben­e­fited from the start of a pickup in the US econ­omy, as did Trump’s prom­ise to rene­go­ti­ate the trade deals and win back jobs. His vic­tory comes at a key time for sev­eral free trade deals, in­clud­ing the sweep­ing Transat­lantic Trade and In­vest­ment Part­ner­ship (TTIP) be­tween the US and EU.

“The global econ­omy is strug­gling. Those who are suf­fer­ing are left with im­pres­sions that glob­al­iza­tion is to blame,” said Seiji Kat­sura­hata, se­nior econ­o­mist at Dai-ichi Life Re­search In­sti­tute in Tokyo.

French econ­o­mist Thomas Pick­etty, who shot to promi­nence with a book ar­gu­ing that wealth in­equal­ity was grow­ing as in­vestors gained bet­ter re­turns than over­all eco­nomic growth, has a sim­i­lar view.

“Work­ing classes in par­tic­u­lar be­lieve that they are pay­ing the costs of glob­al­iza­tion,” he told AFP. The dis­il­lu­sion­ment may have been re­in­forced by trade deals be­ing ne­go­ti­ated be­hind closed doors, leav­ing peo­ple feel­ing vul­ner­a­ble and send­ing thou­sands onto Euro­pean streets to protest.

Prob­lem of ‘per­cep­tion’

“I think that there is the per­cep­tion, and I think it’s cor­rect, that these trade agree­ments were ba­si­cally de­signed for and by cor­po­rate in­ter­ests,” No­bel award-win­ning econ­o­mist Joseph Stiglitz said dur­ing a re­cent visit to Paris. The in­ter­na­tional push to in­creas­ingly tear down bar­ri­ers to free trade has ex­as­per­ated many in in­dus­trial coun­tries as they lose their jobs or see their wages stag­nate. —AFP

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