Back to the Future: Is the World Heading Into a New Wave of Protectionism?

In the 1930s, the Great Depression reversed a long trend towards globalization: Borders were shut, trade was halted, and tariffs imposed. After the 2008 financial crisis, it initially seemed that this would not occur again. But free trade is now stirring strong political passions, with politicians and voters of all stripes blaming trade for rising unemployment. So are we heading for a new protectionist wave? Or is it possible to resurrect the free trade dream? Is free trade really as damaging for peoples' jobs as the critics fear anyway?

Festival: 2016

More on this Session

Watch and Listen: World

The Trump Administration says it is “committed to a foreign policy focused on American interests and American national... See more
Welcome from David G. Bradley and Walter Isaacson A Conversation on the Future with Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots... See more
Often overshadowed by terrorism, nuclear weapons, and cybercrime in the public imagination, pandemics may actually be... See more
Tens of thousands of men and women have left comfortable, privileged lives to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria—... See more
From election meddling to new US sanctions to close calls between fighter planes over the Baltic Sea, the US-Russia... See more
Against a backdrop of rising populism, weakening of traditional political parties, and a rejection of establishment... See more

Pages