Global trade used to be hailed with no doubt. But today, the international mood for globalization has to a great extent shifted. The deeply-held views on free trade and open access for all, which are at the heart of the globalization trend of recent decades, have been joined by ever-more insistent drum beats of dissent. From Europe and North America particularly, but from other places as well, there are calls for a rollback, for trade restrictions, for sanctions and barriers. There are those in the West who believe that to protect jobs and industries, it is necessary to replace “globalization” with “de-globalization.”
After several decades when most Western governments inclined toward freer and more global trade, the mood seems to be changing. In the US, the presidential candidates have agreed on little but the need to keep a closer eye on trade agreements. In the United Kingdom, the new Prime minister, Theresa May, seems determined to fulfill the British public’s wish to leave the European Union, despite the fact that the pound sterling sank recently to a 168-year low. Skepticism over trade deals seems likely to remain a stubborn presence in most of the mature economies, so what should Chinese companies do to react?
For the past three decades, the general political consensus in the mature Western economies has been that trade liberalization is a good thing: most economists credit rising levels of global trade and cross-border investment with lifting nearly a billion people out of poverty in the developing world and reducing prices for consumers almost everywhere. Yet despite those successes, a growing segment of the public in the mature economies sees the impact of liberal trade policies quite differently— the revisionist view sees free trade as a major cause of the declining prosperity in the mature economies. Why has an anti-globalization consensus developed?
As Asia’s heavyweight, adjusts to the so-called ‘New Normal’, the question arises of how countries across the world will deal with increased exposure to a China that is no longer posting the dizzying growth rates it once was, and which some experts feel is on the verge of a significant economic slump. While some like the UK are only now forging major economic links with China in earnest, others have been hitched to China’s economic growth for years. So when China does sneeze, who catches a cold? We give you the lowdown of who’s at risk and who’s not.
Penny Pritzker, US Secretary of Commerce, discusses the shape of the US-China trade relationship
A huge shift in trade and relations could be underway across Eurasia, and China’s New Silk Road policy is at the heart of it
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Two experts—Anthony Liu from CKGSB and Martin K. Dimitrov from Tulane University—explore the impact of the $400 billion natural gas deal on China and Russia relations.
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