Americas: Globalisation lives

Author: | Published: 20 Oct 2016

Is globalisation retreating under populist pressure? Or are populist politics a sign of its force?

Let's imagine a truly global economy. That vision is derived from classic economics – the idea that markets and government don't mix. In such a universal economy, barriers to trade are removed, and the Ricardian motors of comparative advantage and competition are enhanced. In short, global productivity rises while national markets integrate. Regulation and law would, one imagines, also converge. But globalisation – the process of reaching that vision – is slightly different. As well as huge upsides, it entails some harsh shortcomings. Some win and some lose as global markets merge.

National politics have responded. Both candidates for November's US presidential election have rejected free...