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

This talk rethinks refugees as a potential economic benefit to the societies that host them, rather than simply passive... See more
It’s been called one of the worst self-inflicted political wounds of modern times. British Prime Minister Theresa May,... See more
The 21st century brings with it unprecedented global uncertainty, interconnectedness, and unimaginable opportunity. Yet... See more
The principal solution to climate change challenges lies with a transformation to an all-of-the-above low carbon energy... See more
Chinese President Xi Jinping is poised to start his second five-year term when the 19th Party Congress convenes in... See more
Activist Dolores Huerta, recipient of the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist... See more

Pages